The New Bloomfield River Bridge-Part Five

The Bloomfield River after an overnight downpour in the mountains.

The Bloomfield River after an overnight downpour in the mountains.

This is why we needed an ‘All Weather’ crossing at the Bloomfield. 150-200mm of rain fell in the Bloomfield River catchment on Tuesday night. The result is a community split in two, with many people unable to reach the business centre, and cut-off in both directions. In comparison, this was the crossing a few weeks back. As you can see, that prime mover would have been engulfed.

Preparing to unload a span

Preparing to unload a span

When the Bloomfield floods like this, South side residents have the option of a ‘ferry’. A large tinnie with a high Horsepower motor that can take 4 at a time I think. The Bloomfield River is considered a ‘road’ around here. Many residents use boats to cross the river to get to the main community, as it is often a shorter trip than driving around to the crossing. So, it looks like the bridge will be finished (in my guess) by May/June. The road from the Mulligan Highway is pretty chopped up, so I think they’ll get a road crew in before they bring too many more spans down. Some of the potholes are a metre and a half across and between 10 and 20 centimetres deep. In places they are unavoidable, so you have to slow to a crawl and gently walk your vehicle through them. In other places, Red soil on hills turn to bog holes, and are as slick as grease.

Wet_Season_Road_01 Wet_Season_Road_03 Wet_Season_Road_02

Rolling towards Wujal Wujal

Rolling towards Wujal Wujal

But, when all is calm and serene, the place is stunning. Wujal Wujal, Degarra, Bloomfield and Ayton are at the top end of the Bloomfield Track. Roughly 40km North of Cape Tribulation and 75km by road (a mix of tar and dirt surfaces) to the South of Cooktown, in Far North Queensland. The communities are surrounded by World Heritage rainforest, with some of the most beautiful wild river systems in the country.

Upstream in the morning

Upstream in the morning on a non rain day

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5 thoughts on “The New Bloomfield River Bridge-Part Five

  1. I worked on the crossing in the late 90s,it washed away twice in that time,locals said then that no crossing will survive the power of the Bloomfield river.Some of the best times of my life while living in that part of the far north.

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    • Hey Belly, I walked the old crossing in ’82, on the way to Cedar Bay. We walked the old trail from Cape to Wujal (pre-road). The crossing was under a metre of water because of the tide, but I walked it anyway. I was kinda croc ignorant back then. 🙂 This place changed my life back then, and I spent 30 years wanting to come ‘home’. I hope you’re enjoying the posts. I’m posting tonight, a bit of a ‘from the window’ drive from Mt Louis to The Big Annan in photos. You might like to see how much they’ve sealed since you were up here.

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