Mowbray Bridge fishing platform hits a snag
A FISHING platform on the old Mowbray Bridge has stalled after the Department of Transport and Main Roads quadrupled the cost of the project.
Douglas Shire had budgeted $100,000 for the new platform but had the proposal knocked back by the Department, who say they’ll need a further $300,000 to complete road works.
They’ve requested a new pullover lane southbound on the Captain Cook Highway and a turning lane northbound, throwing the whole project into question.
Mayor Julia Leu admitted it was ‘certainly not a hurdle we were anticipating’.
“We’re disappointed with the Department,” Leu said when contacted by Newsport today.
“They did not consider these alterations a requirement when the previously unsafe bridge structure was there attracting large volumes of people?”
The old Mowbray Bridge was a popular fishing and crocodile spotting location before being torn down last year, and large sections of the community had been anticipating its return.
When asked if the new project was now hard to justify at $400,000, Leu replied:
“Quadrupling the cost certainly makes the viability of the project questionable for ratepayers, but we remain committed to coming up with a viable solution.”
Council will now try and negotiate alternatives with the Department to reduce the cost in an effort to reach a fair and suitable outcome.
Leu said irrespective of whether there is a fishing platform at the Mowbray Bridge or not, the area is currently extremely dangerous.
“Motorists are pulling over on the side of the road and running across a major highway to get photos from unsafe locations around the bridge, which is an accident waiting to happen,” she said.
“It’s a situation we were trying to alleviate with our original proposal for the fishing platform and formalised parking.”
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