Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) Mayor Mathew Dickerson, Councilors and MP for Calare The Hon. MP Andrew Gee gathered on the banks of the River Bell in Wellington yesterday, Saturday April 23, 2022, to lay the groundwork for the Wellington Pedestrian Bridge.
The laying of the turf officially marks the start of the construction period which will include the felling of six perimeter trees (all exotic), preparing the site for the construction of piers before the new bridge deck arrives on site.
Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Mathew Dickerson said the project has long been on Wellington’s agenda. “This is an exciting step, the replacement bridge has been a key project for the community of Wellington since the original bridge was deemed unfit for use in 2017. The new accessible bridge will create an excellent link between Wellington’s central business district and the popular sports district of Pioneer Park,” said Mr Dickerson.
Dubbo Regional Council has received $738,000 of Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Phase 2 funding from the Australian Government to build a new pedestrian bridge, helping to promote economic development and recreational opportunities in Wellington. DRC contributed $470,000.
MP for Calare and Minister for Veterans Affairs and Defense Personnel, MP Andrew Gee, said the new bridge would be a boon for Wellington.
“It’s great that construction of a new pedestrian bridge over the Bell River in Wellington is underway,” said Minister Gee.
“The original suspension bridge was a much-loved feature of the city and has been sorely missed since its closure five years ago. That’s why I’m very pleased that local residents and visitors to Wellington will soon be able to enjoy a walk from Cameron to Pioneer Park over a new truss arch bridge.
“Cameron Park is a particularly beautiful part of Wellington, and now that work begins on the new accessible bridge, a visit to the park will become even better. I am proud that the Australian Government is helping to build this new truss arch bridge thanks to $738,000 in support I can’t wait to see the bridge take shape over the next few months and walk on it once it’s complete!” says Mr. Gee.
The new bridge will be accessible to residents and visitors of all skill levels. It will include Australian Standard access ramps and mobility will ensure safe and convenient use of the bridge.
“Pedestrians in wheelchairs or mobility scooters, cyclists, leisure scooters, as well as carers with prams and young children will find the bridge easy to cross,” Mr Gee said.
The DRC engaged TELEO DESIGN to design and supervise the construction of the 41.5 meter truss arch bridge.
Elements of the existing bridge will be retained for their heritage significance, and council will develop interpretive panels to convey its history.
A construction zone will be formed around the area in the coming weeks, and park guests are encouraged to stay away from the area for safety reasons.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of July 2022, weather permitting.