New floating crossing at the Emerald Botanic Gardens
CENTRAL Highlands Regional Council will install a floating bridge for people to cross the river at the Emerald Botanic Gardens, rather than spending millions to repair the old timber bridge.
The council is planning to have the modular pontoon-like structure installed beside the Vince Lester Bridge at the start of May.
General manager infrastructure and utilities Gerhard Joubert said the type of modular bridge was commonly used in construction and would be a quick solution.
“Repair of the existing old timber bridge would run into the millions of dollars, so for the time being the modular bridge is a fast and cost-effective solution,” he said.
The council has conducted a test installation after receiving 167 blocks that form part of the bridge.
“It’s a modular docking system made up from plastic blocks that float on the water,” Mr Joubert said.
“The bridge will be three blocks wide at the start – that’s about 1.5m.
“As we receive more blocks, we’ll add a further row to make it 2m wide.
“A handrail will also be part of the build.”
He said the modular bridge was durable and could be reused and relocated as needed.
Central Highlands Regional Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads closed the old timber pedestrian bridge to the public in March due to its structural condition.
Given the heritage value and significant cost associated with the demolition of the bridge, both parties have formed a working group to develop a project plan considering all issues and ensuring an appropriate outcome.
The timeline is not known yet.