The Mount Morgan swinging bridge, the Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, was built in 2001 as a replica of the six swinging bridges that were once in town in the mining heydays.
The Mount Morgan swinging bridge, the Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, was built in 2001 as a replica of the six swinging bridges that were once in town in the mining heydays.

Iconic Rocky region swinging bridge to be repaired

THE MOUNT Morgan swinging bridge is set to undergo some remediation works to mend the deterioration sustained from the weather over the past two decades.

Tenders for the project closed last month, and Rockhampton Regional Council is currently in the process of awarding the work. 

The bridge is 90m by 1.2m wide and made up of a timber deck and support structure suspended by steel droppers and wire ropes between two timber columns.

A structural investigation revealed there were areas of deterioration caused from severe weathering of the timber elements, requiring replacement and remediation works of a number of structural elements.

The scope of works includes inspection of structure for removal or replacing, tightening of all fasteners, demolition and construction of new concrete footings for the column's stay wires, complete replacement of timber decking, replacement of chain mesh fence as required, remediation of timber bore holes, inspection points in protective plastic coating surrounding wire rope and surface corrosion to steel dropper and M36 steel rods.

The Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge was built in 2001 by army engineers and Mt Morgan Shire Council for the centenary of federation.

Private Jones was the first Australian soldier to die in Imperial Service on foreign soil.

The Dee River in Mount Morgan was once lined with six swinging bridges, the first one built in the 1890s.

They allowed easy access between the town and mine site, even during floods.

No originals remain today, with the last one collapsing in 2010.

Workers examine the collapsed Mount Morgan suspension bridge in preparation for removing the structure for safe storage.
Workers examine the collapsed Mount Morgan suspension bridge in preparation for removing the structure for safe storage.

The Tipperary Point bridge collapsed as a council workman fitted a "keep off" sign and stronger fencing to protect the fragile state.

One of the rotting wooden piers snapped, causing the wooden towers and walkway to tumble onto rocks.

It had already been closed for a year.

A new bridge was estimated to cost up to $750,000.

The floods later that year washed away some of the remaining structure and the rest was rescued and stored.

Mount Morgan swinging bridge after flood December 2010.
Mount Morgan swinging bridge after flood December 2010.

Rockhampton region Mayor Margaret Strelow said she was very much aware of sensitivities in Mount Morgan around the swinging bridges generally.

"I have alerted our engineers to the fact that this has to be very closely supervised," Cr Strelow said.

"Our goal is to make sure that this swinging bridge continues to serve the Mount Morgan community for a very long time."