A LIFESAVING access bridge will reopen this week just in time for the wet season.
Cook Shire Council said it was pleased to announce that repairs to the approach ramps of the Marton Swing Bridge are almost finished.
The council reluctantly closed the bridge in March when routine inspections identified that while the 25-year-old bridge was structurally sound, the approach ramps on either side had been damaged by a white ant infestation.
“For residents and community members living and working beyond Minke and Poison Creek crossings, the bridge is a critical lifeline into town and the Cooktown airport during the wet season,” mayor Peter Scott said.
“With this in mind, it was imperative that we did whatever it took, to undertake the repairs before the weather sets in.”
Local Darren Powell said he was relieved to hear the bridge was re-opening.
“During the wet season, when Minke, Poison and Jensen (creeks and rivers) all come up, the bridge is the girls’ only way into school,” Mr Powell said.
“It’s the only way we can get into town and, if there’s an emergency, it’s the only way services can get to us.”
With the increasing cost of maintaining and repairing infrastructure and assets, Cr Scott said that the challenge now was to secure the funding required to upgrade and future-proof the bridge itself.
“For now, we’re glad to be able to get the bridge open ahead of whatever weather might come,” he said.
“I’d also like to thank council’s infrastructure and disaster management teams for their commitment and dedication towards making it all happen for the community.”