Topics:  asbestos, cunningham hwy, department of transport and main roads, ripley rd overpass

Ripley Rd overpass on schedule to open before Christmas

CONFUSION REIGNS: Rumours of another delay to the reopening of Ripley Rd overpass persist despite departmental assurances.
CONFUSION REIGNS: Rumours of another delay to the reopening of Ripley Rd overpass persist despite departmental assurances. David Nielsen

THE Ripley Rd overpass remains on schedule to open before Christmas despite another rumoured delay.

Ripley area residents raised concerns with the QT that the opening of the overpass had been pushed back to February.

However, a Transport and Main Roads spokesman said the workers were on track for the job to be finished by the end of the year.

"The project team is working hard to complete these works as quickly as possible and is hopeful the works will be finished before Christmas," he said.

The overpass was closed in March after it was struck be a number of heavy trucks.

The bridge was raised and the road lowered to accommodate truck traffic on the Cunningham Hwy.

The department spokesman said there had been some setbacks including the finding of asbestos.

"A complex detailed design, the discovery of asbestos in May this year, along with delays in sourcing and fabricating the necessary steel plates, have led to further delays in reopening the bridge," he said.

Ripley resident Raymond Christiansen said the continual pushing back of the bridge's completion date had become a major issue for residents.

"It sucks; it's just a pain in the butt, trying to get to Ipswich every day," he said. "It adds an extra 10-15 minutes whichever way you go.

"It was meant to reopen in November. Now we don't know when it's going to open again."

A number of Ipswich and Ripley residents posted on the QT Facebook page their concerns about another perceived delay.

"The Ripley bridge is supposed to be closed now until February next year," one Facebook liker commented.

Others were concerned the site was often unattended and little work was being done on the road.



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