Queensland Premier Anna Bligh today joined Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt and Cassowary Coast Mayor Bill Shannon to officially open the new Jubilee Bridge in Innisfail.
The new $21.6 million bridge, jointly funded by the State Government and the Cassowary Coast Council, replaced the old bridge built in 1923 to mark the 50 year anniversary of the town’s settlement.
The Premier said the new bridge meant Innisfail was once again united.
“I know this means a lot to the community after being split in two for 14 months while the new bridge was built,” the Premier said.
“And it’s great to see it open, particularly after Cyclone Yasi wreaked its havoc in January.
“Innisfail is looking fantastic and this bridge is a great symbol that Innisfail is back on its feet.
“What’s more, Innisfail has always had a strong sense of community and the Jubilee Bridge is a powerful symbol of this connectedness.”
The new Jubilee Bridge is part of Queensland’s $15 billion nation-leading infrastructure program that is delivering important projects and supporting 93,000 jobs right across the State.
Over the last decade the Queensland Government has spent nearly $2,400 for every man, woman and child, building vital infrastructure across the State and far outstripping the $1,467 per capita for the rest of Australia.
“And we have not shied away from our infrastructure investment because we are committed to building a stronger Queensland,” the Premier said.
Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the State Government committed $14.3 million to the new bridge as the original had deteriorated and was closed to traffic in July 2010.
“More than 1300 tonnes of cement and 630 tonnes of steel went into constructing the new Bridge,” Mr Pitt said.
“There is great excitement in our community about the new bridge which is a vital cross-river link for Innisfail residents,” Mr Pitt said.
“The closure of the 86 year old Jubilee Bridge to trucks in December 2008, to all other vehicles in May 2010, and to pedestrians in July 2010 meant big changes to people’s routines.
“Well, that is all about to change,” he said.
“With the opening of the new bridge, a town divided will again be united which is excellent news for residents, businesses and particularly for Innisfail State College students who will again have easy access to school.
“What’s more it delivered jobs to the region, with up to 85 workers on site at the project’s peak.
Councillor Bill Shannon thanked the State Government for their commitment to this project, saying it would not have been possible without it.
“The completion of this project is a significant milestone in addressing one of the key infrastructure challenges inherited by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council,” Cr Shannon said.
“The bridge contractors BMD-Albem and Council officers have worked hard to achieve this outcome and should be congratulated on the finished product.’’