Maroochy the obvious choice

The Maroochy River bridge. Photo: Michaela O'Neill / 170970d
The Maroochy River bridge. Photo: Michaela O'Neill / 170970d

Well, what else would you call a bridge over the Maroochy River?

After 300 public suggestions, much deliberation and community consultation, main roads minister Warren Pitt has announced the name of the new bridge as the ... er, Maroochy Bridge.

It may not be the most adventurous choice, but main roads minister Warren Pitt reckons the name chosen for the bridges over the Maroochy River is just what the community wanted.

Mr Pitt sounded almost apologetic when he made the big announcement in a media statement last week, admitting it wasn’t the most exciting choice of name.

“I can understand that some people might have been expecting something a bit different, something a bit more adventurous, so to speak, but often times the best answer – and in this case, the most suitable name – is the plain and simple one,” he said.

“Of the suggestions put forward by the Sunshine Coast community, by far the most popular name was Maroochy in some way, shape or form.”

“A consultative approach was necessary to ensure that the community had the final say – and that’s exactly what has happened. There was overwhelming support for the name Maroochy and the panel felt that no other nomination matched its value.”

Mr Pitt said the choice recognised the Sunshine Coast’s history, geography and culture and would be used as a singular identity for the two bridges – the 18-year-old bridge currently undergoing refurbishment and the new $25 million bridge, which opened last December.

“This name reflects a strong community identification with the Maroochy River and the city of Maroochydore and also continues a historical link with the former Maroochy Shire Council,” he said.

“Furthermore, the name Maroochy has a strong resonance with local Aboriginal creation stories. It was the beautiful young Aboriginal girl Maroochy whose tears created the river after two young warriors, Coolum and Ninderry, both fell in love with her.”

The 300-plus suggestions were considered by a committee of local tourism, arts, architectural and historical representatives. Mr Pitt did not divulge the names rejected by the group.

He confirmed the $104 million upgrade of the Sunshine Motorway between Maroochydore Road and David Low Way, including bridgework and the Pacific Paradise bypass, was on track for completion in December.

Motorists will then enjoy six lanes of traffic across the Maroochy River – three southbound on the new bridge and three northbound on the existing bridge.

Permanent bridge-name signage will be erected to coincide with both bridges being open to traffic.

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