There is good news for Penrith residents concerning the Nepean River Green Bridge upgrade. Transport for New South Wales reports that tenders have been invited for the construction of the cycle and pedestrian access bridge between Penrith and Emu Plains.
The project is intended to provide an alternative to the Victoria Bridge, where non-motorists currently have to share the crossing with other road users such as trucks and passenger vehicles.
Making a valuable addition to the community
The Nepean River Green Bridge project aims to not only add pedestrian and cyclist access between Penrith City Centre and Emu Plains, but also to represent a new destination in the community where people can interact with the river and its surroundings.
The decision on the location and structure of the bridge follows a public consultation where Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) opened up the process to comment from the local communities in October 2014.
In addition, there has been special consideration for respecting the historic nature of the river setting, as well as minimising the impact on rowers on the popular course, according to RMS.
“The community has provided extensive feedback helping us improve the design and location of this bridge which is expected to benefit residents and visitors alike,” said Penrith MP Stuart Ayres in a recent media release.
“The revised bridge features fewer piers on the western side ensuring the historic rowing course can be enjoyed by rowers for many years to come.”
Green Bridge to open up new access for non-motorists
The Nepean River is situated west of Sydney and is part of the larger Hawkesbury River. At present, pedestrians and cyclists have to share the existing Victoria Bridge with other road users, a fact which inspired the Green Bridge project.
Secretary of the local Panthers Triathlon Club Nick Cozic told the Daily Telegraph that Penrith residents are looking forward to the completion of the new bridge.
“Early in the morning, it’s very hard to get across the Victoria Bridge with the trucks and as soon as you have one person coming the other way or someone walking a dog, it’s dangerous,” said Mr Cozic.
“I think as long as they put some facilities in on either side of the bridge landings, it will be great.”
A gradual process for Penrith residents
The NSW government committed $20 million to the Nepean River crossing in 2012.
The work on the bridge project started back in 2012, when Transport for NSW first began to seek out an ideal location for a crossing. When it is complete, the truss design will make it the longest pedestrian bridge in the state.
“Further work is continuing using a truck-mounted rig to drill one borehole on the eastern side and 10 boreholes on the western side of the river to inform the relocation of utilities,” said Mr Ayres.
“Community members are thanked in advance for their patience while early work is under way to inform major building for this project,”
Work is expected to begin next year, with relocation of the power lines overhead due to start in the upcoming months.