Back Creek footbridge to be replaced

Media release - 19 February 2019

Kempsey Shire Council will replace Back Creek footbridge at South West Rocks by the end of the year after Councillors resolved to build a new structure rather than undertake interim maintenance works.

The footbridge will remain closed to the public for safety reasons and to protect the treated effluent pipeline attached to the pedestrian structure while the project is planned.

A report to today’s Council meeting advised that a preliminary design had been prepared for the new footbridge, which will be located slightly downstream of the existing structure.

Council’s Director Operations and Planning, Robert Fish, said environmental approvals and quotations will be sought in coming months with construction likely to commence mid-year and be complete by late 2019.

“The footbridge is considered a unique asset for the local community, providing for a range of recreational activities and pedestrian access to the northern side of the estuary,” Mr Fish said.

“Based on the estimated costs for remedial work and ongoing maintenance of the ageing structure, replacement was considered the best long-term option.

The new structure will be predominantly built of composite components and look similar to the existing bridge but will require less maintenance.

Council has previously allocated $490,000 for design work of the project and will redirect the remaining funds from the 2019-20 Operating Plan to complete construction of the footbridge, which is estimated to cost $1.347 million.

The footbridge was closed in early January after a report that a timber component supporting the treated effluent pipeline had detached. Temporary repairs to ensure the structural integrity of the pipeline were completed while further investigations were carried out to determine the extent of repairs needed.

Council has asked the public to continue to heed the safety warnings and barricades restricting access to the footbridge. Boating access in Back Creek remains unaffected by the footbridge closure.

Further detail about the options considered for the footbridge repairs can be found in the report to Council at www.kempsey.nsw.gov.au/council/meetings/2019/2019-02-19/pubs/agenda-ordinary-council-meeting-19-february-2019.pdf

Further information