Saturday, November 27, 2021

Tenders open for Bell River bridge

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) has called for tenders to construct the Bell River pedestrian bridge within Cameron Park, Wellington.

The designs for the new pedestrian bridge, that will reconnect the Wellington central business district (CBD) with the popular sporting precinct of Pioneer Park, were endorsed at Council’s May meeting.

“Planning and designing a bridge to this scale, suitable for a heritage area, with improved access and connectivity has taken some careful consideration,” said Manager for Recreation and Open Space, Ian McAlister.

“Following Council’s endorsement earlier this year, the engineered designs, were submitted via a Development Application (DA) process which included a heritage impact study, Aboriginal due diligence assessment and a Review of Environmental factors (REF).”

The new truss arch bridge will span the 41.5 metres across the Bell River and will be repositioned approximately four metres south of the existing bridge with access on the Cameron Park side directly from the existing granite path system. The bridge will feature a ramp style exit / entry on the Pioneer Park side to ensure Australian Standard compliant access. People using wheelchairs or mobility scooters, cyclists, recreational scooters, as well as carers with prams and small children will find the bridge easy and convenient to use.

The deck of the new bridge has been set at 600mm above the 1 in 100 year flood level to reduce the potential of damage, and the access ramps of the western side have been designed to withstand flooding and inundation.

Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee said locals and tourists would be taking their first steps on the new accessible bridge in the not too distant future.

“It’s fantastic that tenders are now open for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge over the Bell River in Wellington,” said Minister Gee.

“With the tender process underway, I’m delighted that local residents in town, and visitors to Wellington, will soon be able to enjoy a stroll across the new truss arch bridge in the coming year.

“While locals had a lot of love for the old suspension bridge, the new bridge will be accessible to all, and is sure to become a favourite, picture-postcard feature of Wellington.

“It’s exciting that once the bridge is constructed, thanks to $738,000 in Australian Government funding, Cameron and Pioneer Park will be linked once more after the original crossing closed four years ago,” said Mr Gee.

DRC says it will retain elements of the existing bridge for heritage significance and develop a suite of interpretative signage to convey the history of the Bell River crossing.

The Bell River Pedestrian Bridge project is a joint development with Dubbo Regional Council and Australian Government, funded under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Phase 2 funding and DRC’s capital works budget.

Construction is expected to commence in January 2022, with the project scheduled to be completed by May 2022.

Tenders are open until 14 December 2021, and can be viewed online at the website VendorPanel.

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