A new bridge to be built over a busy road is expected to improve operations for the New Hope Group’s operations west of Ipswich.
The proposal to build an 11 metre high and 16 metre wide steel arch overpass over Ipswich Rosewood Road is currently open to public consultation and could allow up to 360 trucks to cross every day- about one every four minutes.
New Hope spokesman Bruce Denney said the bridge will allow access for 250 tonne dirt hauling trucks from the southern side of the road to the northern side, where the company wants to begin extracting coal in the next few months.
“Before we get to the coal we have to deal with the dirt, so these trucks will be packed with dirt, moving it from one side of Ipswich-Rosewood Road to the other, Denney told The Queensland Times.
“In years gone by we have used an underpass which is located further up the road, but this time we have opted for an overpass, due to some Main Roads requests.
The cost of the overpass is expected to cost about $2.7 million and will service the two separate operations the New Hope Group has in the West Moreton area, and Jeebropilly and New Oakleigh.
Most of the 1.2 million tonnes the company extracts from these mines per year is exported to Taiwan and Japan and Denney said the recent disasters in Japan are expected to have a significant effect on its exports.
The Jeebropilly mines employ about 135 people directly, and the company is hoping to begin construction on the bridge as soon as possible.
“Ideally we would like to start construction on the overpass in the next six months, but obviously we have to go through the approval process firtst,” Denney said.
The bridge will allow for the extraction of coal from an area not used since 2006, but it is not expected to increase the amount of coal, but rather keep the company at the same level of production.
The department of main roads opened public notification of New Hope’s application on 11 March, to close on 1 April, and if approved, the company expects some temporary closures to Ipswich-Rosewood Road, but says it will work closely with the department to minimise disruptions.
Image: The Queensland Times