David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

Forest Springs’ New Bridge better connects farmers and emergency services

August 18, 2020

The upgraded Upper Forest Springs Road Bridge opened today in Forest Springs, benefiting residents, farmers and emergency services in the Southern Downs town.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the newly opened concrete structure, which replaced the former timber bridge, would make a meaningful difference to the community.

“The new bridge is welcome news for local businesses and farmers,” Mr McCormack said.

“The replacement has extended the bridge’s useful life for the next 100 years and increased its load capacity from 25 tonnes to 166 tonnes, which will be a boon for agricultural productivity.

“The project supported 37 jobs during construction and it’s a great local example of how the Australian Government’s investment in infrastructure nationwide is supporting jobs and communities at a time when it’s needed most.”

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management and Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, who attended today’s opening, said the new bridge had also improved access for emergency services.

“The bridge has been widened from 4.42 metres to 8.6 metres and the height has risen by half a metre which reduces the likelihood of bridge closures caused by water-over-road flood events,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This saves residents, local industries and emergency services from having to take a 10-kilometre detour.”

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said the bridge was vital infrastructure that kept the community connected and moving.

“Council will continue to seek funding opportunities to replace a number of old timber bridges within our road network and undertake important bridge repairs,” Cr Pennisi said.

“While road safety is everyone’s responsibility, Council is committed to building better, safer bridges across our region for all road users, whether they are locals or visitors who travel here to enjoy everything that our unique locality has to offer.”

The Bridges Renewal Program is an Australian Government initiative to fund the upgrade and replacement of bridges across Australia to improve access for local communities and higher productivity vehicles.

The project was jointly funded with the Australian Government committing $301,400 and Southern Downs Regional Council $441,000.