Farmers jump for joy at bridge reopening
FARMERS danced on the street when a vital bridge in the farming district of Silverleaf was reopened, more than a year after it was closed for safety reasons.
Brett Enkelmann was the first driver over the bridge, after it was opened to vehicles by council staff yesterday afternoon.
"It's a massive relief, we were all celebrating," Brett said.
The bridge, which is known as both Campbells Bridge and Silverleaf Bridge, was closed in January 2015 after a routine safety report by the council discovered it was too dangerous to use.
For Brett and his entire family the closure was more than an inconvenience and cost their farming business thousands of dollars.
The family owns two properties on either side of the bridge, and when the bridge was cut a five minute journey from one side to the other was stretched out to an hour.
"It's been an expense over the last 12 months moving gear back and forth," he said.
"Whatever you need it's always on the other side of the bridge."
He even purchased extra farming equipment over the last year to avoid the long travel time between farms.
Construction began earlier this year, and was came at a cost of $1.2 million according to deputy mayor Kathy Duff.
Brett said the reopening came at just the right time as he was in the middle of a busy harvest, and would use the bridge several times a day.
"It's a better bridge than it was before, it's a wider bridge," he said.
"We did a little dance on the road."