The design for a new pedestrian bridge spanning the Bell River in Wellington was endorsed at the Ordinary Meeting of Council. The bridge will provide a key link between Cameron Park and Pioneer Park and could be complete within seven months.
Funding permits construction of a truss arch bridge design, to the value of $774,000, inclusive of site preparatory works. To complete the project, Council is also contributing $100,000.
Council has received $738,000 from the Australian Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Phase 2 funding to construct a new pedestrian bridge, helping to promote economic development and recreational opportunities within Wellington. The bridge will form an integral link as a part of Council’s recently installed path network at Cameron Park on the eastern river bank; and to Brennan’s Way, as well as Mt Arthur.
DRC’s Director Liveability Skye Price said the new bridge will provide a variety of opportunities for locals and visitors to Wellington. “We acknowledge that the original bridge has been sorely missed since its closure. The original bridge provided a great link between Wellington CBD, the popular Pioneer Park sporting ground; as well as the showground and Mt Arthur.
Ms Price continued to say the endorsed design is extremely inclusive. “We appreciate there is much nostalgia related to the traditional suspension bridge. It was an iconic installation. The new bridge will be accessible for residents and visitors of all abilities. Australian Standard compliant ramps for access and mobility will ensure safe, convenient bridge use. People using wheelchairs or mobility scooters, cyclists, recreational scooters, as well as people with prams and small children will find the bridge easy to traverse. Accessibility is extremely important to Dubbo Regional Council and we are sure the community will make great use of it. The truss arch design will also be an architecturally attractive addition” said Ms Price.
Following a structural assessment, the original Bell River suspension bridge was deemed unsafe and permanently closed in 2017. The Community Strategic Plan 2040 highlighted a strong desire from the community to have a bridge reinstated, to meet existing and anticipated community needs, with an emphasis upon pedestrian pathways. Council is also investigating the feasibility of retaining some major structural components of the original bridge, due to its historical significance and community importance.
Image caption: A concept design for the new bridge.