Rockhampton Regional Council is set to fund repairs to Riverslea Bridge, after a fire caused damage to the base of the newly built structure.

The Council is encouraging anyone with information regarding the fire to inform police. 

Rockhampton Region Mayor, Tony Williams, said it is incredibly disappointing to report damage to a community asset less than one year after it was built.

“It’s upsetting to say the least, especially given the fact that the fire appears to have been intentional,” Mayor Williams said.

“Debris and logs that were pushed to the base of the structure in recent river flows were lit on fire over the weekend, and this has caused considerable damage to the pile cap and the base of the pier.

 “While the bridge is still safe to use, it is going to mean a large bill for Council to foot ,in order to see it repaired.

“The cost to repair the concrete damage is estimated at around $100,000 – which is a hard pill to swallow as this bridge was only completed in May 2021 and at a cost of $12.5 million.”

The single-lane bridge is 18m high and 260m long and consists of 16 girders – each weighing 80 tonnes. Its construction also included 300m of new road connecting the approaches to the bridge, as well as passing bays at both ends.

Rockhampton Infrastructure Councillor, Ellen Smith, said the structure at Riverslea was funded by the Federal and Queensland Governments and was delivered in partnership with Sunwater.

“It’s an asset to the community and allows families in this area to get their kids to school and quicker trips to nearby towns,” Cr Smith said.

“It also provides increased safety for the community, who prior to its completion, would have to cross the river by boat when the river would flood during the wet season.”

Cr Smith said Council is calling on anyone with details to come forward.

“The matter is with the police at the moment and we would strongly encourage anyone with information to pass this on to the local police,” Cr Smith said.

“Whether this level of damage was intentional or not, the fire likely was, and there are people in the community who know about it.”

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