Somerset's sweet success

January 2012

One of Somerset Regional Council’s reconstruction success stories has been the delivery of the interim Alf Williams Bridge just four months after the original bridge was completely destroyed in the January 2011 flood. 

The interim bridge, which crosses the Brisbane River on Gregors Creek Road, is a standout example of innovation, value-for-money and a council acting swiftly to solve a major problem for its local community.  

Around 50 families were directly impacted when the bridge was destroyed. This meant that local families living on the northern side of the bridge had to travel an additional 45 minutes each way via an alternative route to obtain access to southern areas of the region. 

The temporary bridge was installed in just three days, and is strong and robust enough to carry heavy trucks.

Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann said Council understood the critical importance of the bridge to local residents and acted quickly to get the interim bridge up and running. 

“The interim bridge is an example of our Council’s emphasis on achieving value-for-money with our program of reconstruction,” Councillor Lehmann said. 

 “After the new permanent Alf Williams Bridge is delivered (expected project completion is March 2013), the 33-metre modular temporary bridge will be relocated to a nearby location for reuse.

“This dual-fit solution represents outstanding value-for-money – the bridge is being used now in an interim capacity and down the track will be permanently re-located on Glenmaurie Road where another bridge was destroyed in January 2011 floods.”

Somerset Regional Council has been recognised for its innovation by winning the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia Queensland award for projects under $5 million in value.  

The permanent Alf Williams Bridge is being constructed by local contractor Construction Project Management Pty Ltd (CPM) 

James Long is the principal/owner of CPM and a resident of Fernvale. Mr Long has worked with Somerset Regional Council on more than 50 projects over the past four years, both before and after the floods of January 2011. CPM has been able to employ five more local staff, and is on track to deliver the Alf Williams Bridge to Council by the end of March 2013.