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Mercy Pedestrian Bridge temporarily closed due to vandalism

13 April 2015

After only eight months of being open to the public, Western Downs Regional Council has temporarily closed the popular Mercy Pedestrian Bridge in Dalby after the new 24 metre long, composite fibre footbridge was damaged by vandals last week.

Spokesperson for Works and Engineering Services Councillor Andrew Smith said Council is disappointed with this senseless act of vandalism to a well-used community crossing.

“Yesterday afternoon Council was made aware that several panels of the balustrades on the Mercy Pedestrian Bridge were damaged and removed. The high extent of vandalism has meant that the bridge is temporarily closed to ensure the safety of residents and regular users of the crossing,” he said.

“The bridge is expected to be closed until the end of this week while Council’s work crews install a temporary replacement for the damaged and missing balustrades.

“The Mercy Bridge is a well-used community asset and was only newly replaced and opened last July after the old bridge was damaged during the 2013 flood events.

“It is disappointing to see that the new composite fibre footbridge which provides residents with safe and easy access across Myall Creek, and that was designed and constructed with the aim of delivering the Dalby community a stronger, flood resilient bridge to survive future floods, has been so senselessly damaged.”

Cr Smith said Council is now investigating different options to replace the existing balustrades with a more vandalism- resilient material.

“The original decision to use the lightweight material for the balustrades was to ensure the structural integrity of the bridge as the Myall Creek rises and falls during heavy rainfall and floods by allowing debris to flow easily through and over the bridge,” he said.

“Council’s Engineering Team, along with additional consultant advice, is reviewing the bridge’s design and building material to investigate options for replacing the existing balustrades with a more vandalism-resilient material, but which still allows debris and branches to push through the railings during a flood event.

“Council urges anyone who is aware of any unwanted, illegal behaviour to report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to Council on 1300 COUNCIL (1300 268 264).”

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