Infamous Gympie bridge project on track amid traffic chaos
The notorious Normanby Bridge project remains on track for timely completion amid traffic chaos on the Bruce Highway passing through Gympie since work began earlier this month.
The department of Transport and Main Roads confirmed yesterday the project was on track for completion in May, weather permitting.
Numerous motorists have complained of significant delays at peak traffic times since works began on the overpass on 15 February.
Navigating the detour off and back on to the highway around the bridge was seen to be causing havoc for one truckie outside peak times on Thursday morning.
A TMR spokesperson said those frustrations were understandable but also "unavoidable".
How have you been impacted by the Normanby Bridge repair project?
This poll ended on 01 March 2021.
It's been chaos - I've been delayed by half an hour, an hour or more every day since they closed it.
It's been difficult but manageable - I've had to change my route and face some minor delays as a result.
I haven't been affected by it - I don't go out that way much.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"Some disruption during vital road projects is unavoidable and there have been delays, particularly during peak traffic times," the spokesperson said.
"We apologise for the inconvenience and appreciate motorists' patience while the safety works are completed.
"The annual average daily traffic at this location is 21,000 vehicles per day, and 11,700 vehicles per day on Gympie-Brooloo Road at the overpass."
The spokesperson said parts of the bridge had already been demolished.
"The existing decking and girders have been demolished and scaffolding erected. Replacement girders are being prepared for installation," the spokesperson said.
Polley's Coaches owner and Gympie councillor Warren Polley said he remained optimistic about co-ordinating school bus runs for the duration of the project, despite the delays.
He said Polley's had introduced a new bus run to help offset the challenges brought on by the project since it started.
"If anything it's actually working out slightly better than we thought it would. We put another bus run on to do the little funny run arounds," Mr Polley said.
"The main buses can stick to the main roads, from Gympie High to South over to Jones Hill, so we put another bus on so the main ones didn't have to detour off. That bit's working well for us.
"It's costing us an extra bus for a few hours but it's working well.
"It is what it is, the kids are getting home, we've had a few challenges with kids getting on the wrong bus or the wrong connecting bus but things seem to have settled down now.
"The only questions is how long this is going to go for. We'll just work around it and keep doing our thing, it's a pain in the neck but all the kids are still going home on a seat-belted and airconditioned bus."
Mr Polley said bus delays during peak traffic times had ranged between 10 minutes and half an hour.