BUNDABERG'S historic Burnett Bridge has connected the north side of the city to the south for more than 100 years, so it's little wonder residents get a little curious when they see work being done to the structure.
The largest steel traffic bridge in Australia when it was opened in August 1900, motorists and pedestrians paid for the pleasure of using the bridge before tolls were abolished after 12 years.
Since last month, scaffolding has adorned the side of the bridge as Transport Main Roads oversees work to remove paint and rust that has formed on the inside of the first two spans on the northern side.
A department spokeswoman said this section of the bridge would then be repainted.
"These works will also allow a detailed structural inspection to be completed to ensure the continued safety and reliability of the heritage-listed structure," she said.
"Night works will continue until next month with closures in place from Sunday-Wednesdays between 7pm and 6am and Thursdays between 9pm and 6am.
"Works which cannot be completed at night and require a temporary closure will continue to be scheduled at weekends, when traffic volumes are fewer, to minimise disruption to motorists and adjacent businesses.
"A detour will be in place whenever the bridge is temporarily closed."
The spokeswoman said the bridge continued to be safe to use for motorists.
"When works have been completed on the inside of the first two spans, the crew will move to the outside of the structure to complete blasting and painting works," she said.
"Occasional weekend closures will then be required to relocate protective boarding and scaffolding.
"These works are expected to be completed by mid-next year."
The spokeswoman said given the age and length of the eight-span bridge, it was impossible to complete the required works without any impact to motorists.
"It will be a long process but we are committed to preserving an important part of Bundaberg's history to ensure it continues to serve as a vital road link," she said.
"The structure has survived several floods - its strength and resilience is a testament to the integrity of its original design and construction."
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