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Fix bridge? No probs

Wednesday, 7th March, 2012

‘EASY’: The bridge near Manna Hill that the Radfords fixed 10 years ago. ‘EASY’: The bridge near Manna Hill that the Radfords fixed 10 years ago.

 By Kurtis Eichler

 The broken Pine Creek bridge is threatening to derail the St Pat’s races but one man has come up with a plan to save the day.

Businessman Gary Radford has given racegoers from interstate some hope, saying that instead of waiting until March 16 for a temporary bridge to be installed the broken bridge could just be bulldozed.

Doing this and installing pipes to drain the water and filling the creek in with rocks would give motorists a quick fix, Mr Radford said.

“Subject to inspecting it, we reckon 24 to 48 hours or something like that,” the retired earthmoving boss said.

“Let’s face it - it’s not a huge job.

“I’ve already done it ten years ago on a road down near Manna Hill.”

That was when, he said, the Indian Pacific was stuck in the township for 15 to 20 days due to a bridge that had collapsed.

Mr Radford said people in Broken Hill and district were being terribly inconvenienced by the cutting of the Adelaide road.

“It’s very important for the community, it’s very important for pastoralists for their food and medical supplies.”

After last year’s race meeting was rained out, and with the prospect of the bridge not being fixed until the day before the race meeting, St Pat’s secretary manager Cheryl Krutli said she was on tenterhooks.

Owners, trainers and horses could be forced to take the long trip via Wentworth, extending what would normally be a six or seven hour journey.

“It’s extra time the horse has to stand in the float,” said Mrs Krutli.

The extra 170-odd kilometres would add two hours to the journey, she said.

“It’s going to be an effort for them to stand for that time and then race the next day.”

But Mrs Krutli said she was “cautiously optimistic” about the meeting.

“There are early indications that we’ll have a bumper crowd,” she said.

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