A historic disused rail bridge in the Brisbane Valley is undergoing a $4.5 million refurbishment, making it a major tourist attraction for the region.
Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden, a former Somerset Councillor, said he had been fighting for many years for the restoration of the iconic and heritage-listed bridge.
He said it was a key link on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.
“The trail, which runs along the former Brisbane Valley Rail Line, is now an increasingly popular recreational venue for bike riders, hikers and horse riders,” he said.
“The bridge, which was built in 1886, is in a poor state and requires urgent refurbishment.
“When restored, it will provide an important link on the trail and bring us closer to developing a world class tourism asset.
“RoadTek, a branch of Transport and Main Roads, carried out stabilisation works last year.
“The second phase of rehabilitation work will include replacing all timber components, and abrasive blasting and repainting of the steel truss.
“Some of these works are already underway with further plans to install a new pedestrian walkway on the bridge.
“This will increase the safety of rail trail users and deliver an important all-weather crossing across Lockyer Creek once refurbishment works are complete.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said he hoped the final trail would rival the Otago Rail Trail in New Zealand and the Great Victorian Rail Trail in Victoria.
“When completed the Lockyer Creek Rail Bridge will be a major drawcard for locals and visitors to the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail,” he said.
The project is due for completion by November, weather permitting.