Tweed Shire Council says the closure of the Cudgen Creek bridge linking the beachside precincts of Salt and Casuarina with Kingscliff won’t affect police and ambulance services to those communities in emergencies.
The timber pedestrian part of the bridge will remain open for emergency vehicle use.
The closure of the bridge for a major upgrade late last month has forced locals from Salt and Casuarina to take a longer detour drive to Kingscliff, via the Tweed Coast Road, lasting around 10 minutes extra.
Council this week moved to reassure the community that police and ambulance vehicles can use the pedestrian bridge to cross the creek in the event of an emergency.
Council senior construction engineer Nigel Dobson said that in planning the $4 million replacement of the old timber bridge, council spoke with all emergency services providers about access between Kingscliff, Salt Village and Casuarina during construction.
‘Council has given keys for the roadside reserve gate north of the pedestrian bridge to local ambulances to use in an emergency. Council also has put in place after-hours procedures to open that gate if needed,’ Mr Dobson said.
‘I would like to reassure residents that we are confident we have in place the procedures needed for emergency service vehicles to cross Cudgen Creek using the pedestrian bridge if they need to,’ Senior Engineer Construction Nigel Dobson said.
‘However, travel routes to emergencies are a matter for them to decide at the time of the incident.’
Council closed Sutherland Street/ Casuarina Way at the old timber bridge on Monday, 27 June, putting in place detours via Tweed Coast Road and Cudgen Creek and adding a further 11 minutes to the trip form Marine Parade, Kingscliff, to Casuarina Way, Salt Village.
Work to demolish the old bridge is due in coming days to allow construction of a new concrete bridge, with wider traffic lanes and compliant traffic barriers, to be tied into the existing pedestrian bridge.
Mr Dobson said that currently, contractors were using the old timber bridge deck as a temporary work platform to pre-drill the creek bed below at the central concrete pylon of the new bridge.
After the existing timber bridge is demolished, a temporary bridge will be built, strong enough to allow the heavy piling rig access to centre pylon.
‘In demolishing the old timber bridge, council will inspect all the timbers and keep any that are suitable to repair the remaining 33 timber bridges in the shire or for use as temporary bridges during other bridge construction works,’ Mr Dobson said.
‘Some of the old timbers will also be made available for use in a public art installation at Kingscliff following completion of the Kingscliff Foreshore Redevelopment project.
‘There may be a few timbers condemned and destroyed as they are not suitable for reuse,’ he said.