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MAJOR local roads and rail lines across North Queensland could take months to fully reopen as the mammoth task of clearing and repairing damaged infrastructure begins.
Rail freight recommenced from Townsville’s south on Saturday, allowing a train loaded with essential groceries to arrive in the city for the first time since the flood event began more than a week ago.
Queensland Rail crews have repaired the washed out Rooney St Rail Bridge in Townsville, but the devastating floods in the state’s North west have complete decimated parts of the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line.
Stunning aerial vision shows the rail line at Julia Creek suspended in mid air on both sides of a bridge after huge cement sections were completed eroded by the force of flood waters.
A spokesman for the Department of Transport and Main Roads said workers were doing their best to reopen roads “safely as quickly as possible”.
RoadTek has cleared debris from Townsville’s Bowen Rd Bridge, but the road is expected to remain closed between Kokoda St and Tyack St for some time.
“TMR is waiting for water levels to drop before a structural engineer can conduct an inspection to determine flood impacts and identify any rectification works required before the bridge is reopened to traffic,” the Department spokesman said.
“TMR will advise the community as soon as the bridge is reopened.”
The spokesman said Herveys Range Rd remained fully closed following “severe damage”.
“RoadTek is continuing to clear debris from the road,” he said. “Further geotechnical assessments and repairs will be required before the road can reopen.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey visited a number of damaged roads and bridges, including at Herveys Range on Saturday.
“Huge damage to Hervey Range Rd with landslip blocking a drain and water carving out an underground channel, undermining a 150 metre section of road going up the Range,” he said on social media.
Mr Bailey said RoadTek crews were also on site with heavy equipment continuing clearing and safety work on Mt Spec Rd up the Range to Paluma.
“Huge land slips with much work to go to stabilise, clear and repair damaged road surface,” he said.
Mr Bailey said crews used explosives to disintegrate and remove a “massive boulder” blocking the road.
This article first appeared on www.townsvillebulletin.com.au
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