The opening of a new bridge has revived a flood of memories for a local resident whose history with the crossing dates back 89 years.
Jim Grant, 97, was given the honour of being the first person to cross the replacement bridge over Six Mile Creek on Kin Kin Road near Pomona when it opened last month.
Incredibly, he was among the first people to cross the original timber bridge when it opened in 1934.
Mr Grant says he still remembers driving with his dad across the timber bridge when he was eight years old, a day after it opened.
“It was a very exciting experience for me because this (dirt) was all we had years ago and to drive onto a nice bridge like that to get to the other side was very hard to describe,” he said.
“Every time I ever went over it I remembered that day.”
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Traffic has started flowing across the new bridge, 3km north of Pomona. Construction is continuing on associated works, including dedicated turn lanes into Bellbird Flat Road and road realignment on sections of Kin Kin Road along the approaches to the bridge.
The new bridge was built to the west of the single-lane timber bridge. During construction, traffic continued to use the old bridge, reducing the impact on motorists.
“Replacement of the Six Mile Creek Bridge has been a long-standing priority for local residents and the Noosa hinterland community, and we are pleased to deliver this new infrastructure ahead of schedule,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.
“The new bridge has a wider deck, allowing for two traffic lanes and wider shoulders, improving safety for all motorists.
“The new bridge will also deliver improved flood immunity, thereby reducing the frequency and duration of closures during significant weather events in comparison to the existing timber bridge.”
Construction started in late October 2022 and is expected to be fully complete in early 2024.
Mr Grant said the opening of the timber bridge in 1934 helped farmers get their produce to markets.
“They were mostly dairy farmers and when the bridge was flooded they had nowhere to take their cream,” he said.
“There was no factory handy. The nearest factory was at Pomona; there was nothing in Cooran.
“There was one in Kin Kin but that didn’t suit the people here to take their cream to Kin Kin. It was an awful lot of country to go through and this was the idea.”
He said being the first to drive over new bridge was “beautiful”.
“I was a day late getting over the other one, and I’m going to be a spot on this time,” he said before the drive.