Kempsey Shire Council has begun demolishing the old footbridge at Back Creek, South West Rocks.
While the new footbridge was opened in December, work to remove the old footbridge was postponed as the Council’s bridges team focused on urgent bushfire repairs.
The demolition of the old footbridge is planned to occur in stages over a two-month period and will be tide and weather dependent.
Council’s Director Operations and Planning, Robert Fish, said there will be some minor impacts on the community as a result of the work, including closure of the new wharf and the old footbridge.
“We will be demolishing the entire length of the old bridge and connecting the wharf to the newly built bridge,” he said.
“Residents should be aware that there will be a small reduction in available parking so staff can set up a compound and have direct access to the old site. There won’t, however, be any impacts on the new amenities or access to the new footbridge.”
The demolition work will result in a large amount of timber being recovered from the old footbridge. Although a portion of the wood is too deteriorated for any use and will be disposed of at Council’s waste facility, there will also be a significant amount of usable wood.
Mr Fish said some of this, particularly the relatively new timber girders, will be kept by Council for use in future bridge work but much of it would also be offered to the community.
As was done when the old Crescent Head footbridge was demolished, Council will be making some of the recovered wood from the old Back Creek footbridge available to the public for keepsakes, primarily the weathered decking boards.
“The decking boards won’t be suitable for use in structures or other bridges, nor would it be suitable to burn, however residents could repurpose it for garden use or similar,” said Mr Fish.
The wood will be distributed through Council’s ReUse Shop at the Waste Management Centre on Crescent Head Road, South Kempsey. In response to the high demand witnessed for the Crescent Head footbridge wood, Council will be charging a nominal fee per board.
The wood will be available for residents to buy once it reopens following coronavirus restrictions. Residents interested in purchasing the boards should enquire directly with staff at the ReUse Shop about prices and quantity.