Thornton bridge re-opens to traffic
IT'S been almost two years but the wait is now officially over - Clarke's Bridge at Thornton is open again to traffic.
The bridge at the bottom of the Lockyer Valley was damaged in the 2011 flooding and then completely smashed by the force of the swollen Laidley Creek during the Australia Day 2013 flooding.
Ever since the Thornton School community and farmers on the east side of the creek on Thornton School Road have faced a major detour to get to Mulgowie Road and the rest of the valley.
But since August Shamrock Civil have been busy building a new and improved one-lane bridge and yesterday the project was finally completed and the road opened to traffic.
Formally opening the new Clarke's Bridge, Lockyer Valley Regional Council mayor Steve Jones said the bridge was a vital piece of infrastructure for the area.
"Clarke Bridge is both a link to Thornton State School, as well as farmers in the district," he said.
"We engaged extensively with the public on this project and during the construction it was great to see the students from Thornton State School taking such a strong interest in the details of the project.
"I'm pleased to see it open before Christmas and well in time for the 2015 school year."
Shamrock Civil's program manager of transport and infrastructure Clinton Huff praised the community for their patience and assistance during the building.
"It's very important to keep people away from the work site and I especially thank Thornton State School for their interest and the way they behaved, always coming through the right channels and not just come wondering through the work site," Mr Huff said.
School principal Erica Hassett said the bridge opening was a really big deal for the community.
"Not just for the students who will have a much shorter bus journey but also for people on both sides of the creek," Ms Hassett said.
"It brings them back together, connecting them which is so important."
The work was delivered under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, a joint Federal (75 per cent) and State (25 per cent) Government initiative.
Lockyer Valley Council also contributed funds to the project for the installation of guard rails to increase safety.