OFFICIAL and unofficial 'Friends of Browns Creek', along with other affected community members gathered at the Browns Creek footbridge earlier this month to learn some good news.
After a request to Greater Taree City Council to have the bridge repaired, FOBC member, Bill Dennis was delighted to let the crowd know that repair works to the bridge have been budgeted for and materials ordered, with work expected to be completed in the first quarter of this financial year.
In its current state the bridge is a hazard for its regular users including bicyclists, mothers with prams and commuters in wheelchairs or motorised scooters, who struggle to navigate across the rundown, uneven planks.
The rickety old bridge even scares people enough that they choose to walk on the busy road rather than cross it and given that it is the only designated walking path from that end of town to the CBD, it is used by hundreds of people each week.
Daniel Park from Greater Taree City Council was pleased to share council's plans for the bridge with the concerned community members.
"The bridge has always been on our radar," he explained, however with more than 100 timber bridges on council's agenda and most of those being road bridges, higher risk does take priority.
Thankfully though, Daniel said the funding has been budgeted under council's timber bridge maintenance program and the plan is to replace most of the 'super structure' of the bridge.
"We'll pull up the running deck and it will be replaced and once we've had a chance to get in there we'll assess the rest of the structure as well," explained Daniel.
"We'll make a decision on anything else once everything has been pulled out and we can get a clearer view."