The MidCoast Council project team welcomed close to a hundred attendees on day one of the Cedar Party Creek Bridge pop-up consultation on Thursday.
The drop-in sessions, which run until Wednesday, May 3, provide locals and users of the busy Cedar Party Creek Bridge with the opportunity to review a range of different design options that have been developed for the future replacement of the current timber structure.
“The intention of the drop-in sessions is to allow people to visit at a time that suits them, for as long as they need, to talk with us about the designs and provide input that will help us identify the best possible outcome,” explained Ron Hartley, MidCoast Council’s director engineering and infrastructure services.
Eight different designs were tabled at Thursday’s 12pm-6pm session, with a focus on two technically-preferred solutions – one that proposes a replacement bridge on the existing alignment, and another that proposes a bridge built to the west of the current bridge, offering a softer entry from the bridge into town over the current site of Wingham’s Memorial Pool.
“The ‘Pool Relocation’ option formed the basis of many lengthy and lively conversations”, Ron added. “Taking attendees through all options, and discussing the various pro’s and con’s of each, has already proven to be a valuable exercise which we believe will allow the community to provide meaningful, informed input”.
A common theme in relation to the ‘Pool Relocation’ option was whether or not a replacement pool would become a reality, and what it might look like. “We can confirm that a replacement pool has been factored in on a ‘like-for-like dollars’ basis as part of the initial budgeting for this option, and should it proceed, those funds would have to be dedicated to providing a new pool – they would not be available to divert elsewhere,”, Ron added.
If the ‘Pool Relocation’ option is selected, an approved pool design, location, construction timing and fully detailed budget would form part of a future construction grant funding application, details of which would first be identified through separate community consultation focusing exclusively on the pool.
“The subject of the pool does form part of the bridge consultation and project, but there’s a much larger body of work to be undertaken with the Wingham community to identify what will serve their needs best into the future. With the current pool nearing the end of its serviceable life, the bridge project could provide a welcome opportunity for Wingham to retain a pool facility”, he said.
To meet the criteria for future construction funding, all options address the bridge’s ability to withstand future flood events, its interaction with the level rail crossing, and its ability to improve the flow of traffic, including heavy vehicles, into the Wingham town centre.
The pop-up consultations continue at the CWA rooms in Isabella Street, today (noon - 6pm), tomorrow, Saturday, April 29 (8am – noon), and next week on Monday May 1, Tuesday May 2 and Wednesday May 3 (7am – noon).
Detailed information and a short video is available, along with an online survey, at www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/cedarpartycreekbridge. The survey closes at 5.30pm on Wednesday, May 17.