Saturday, May 19, 2012

Vital points of entry and exit: Mitchell Outback Qld

The road bridge over the Maranoa River at Mitchell was badly damaged during the February floods.  This river crossing is a critical link to Mitchell and the south-west communities of Queensland: especially for the livestock,  transport and tourism industries.  The Warrego Highway is an important national highway.

Consequently, work on a new bridge is expected to begin this year, downstream of the existing bridge.  In the meantime, there are speed restrictions, and traffic lights on either end to ensure that only one lane of traffic moves over the bridge at one time.

Before the bridge was built, the Old Crossing was the only way over the Maranoa River.  Today, the view up and down stream from the Old Crossing is much the same as it was before the flood.  What is different though, are the mountains of white river sand layered up the bank -- and also the removal of much of the vegetation.  

There's so much to do after a flood: so much cleaning and sorting out.  As a result, it's easy to lose sight of why we come to Mitchell, why we chose Mitchell as our home.  Every evening I walk with my German shepherd Major.  As we walk along the river, I feast my senses on the moving water, the massive red gums -- and all that wonderful space and light. 

Here I restore my spirit: feel the river's peace: let my mind to go loose.

At the Old Crossing, the river gurgles over the concrete and stone causeway without a care in the world, and then gives a soft sigh as it makes its way southwards -- part of the Murray Darling system.

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