A striking structure described by some locals as ‘Wellington’s own Harbour Bridge’ has been officially opened on the banks of the Bell River on Saturday 10 September 2022, thanks to a joint development between Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Australian Government.

Dubbo Regional Council’s Mayor Mathew Dickerson, Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee, and Dubbo Regional councillors marked the milestone with a free community breakfast before cutting the red ribbon. Many community members celebrated the occasion by marching, wheeling, or riding across the new pedestrian bridge linking Wellington’s CBD and Cameron Park with the popular sporting precinct of Pioneer Park.

Mayor Dickerson said the new Wellington Pedestrian Bridge included Australian Standard compliant ramps for access and mobility to ensure safe, convenient and inclusive bridge use.

“It will accommodate prams, cyclists, wheelchairs and recreational and mobility scooters,’’ he said.

“With all the rain we’ve had this year it is important to note that the deck has been set at 600mm above the 1 in 100 year flood level to reduce the potential for damage, and the access ramps on the western side have been designed to withstand flooding and inundation.

“This striking bridge in Cameron Park is something the Wellington community can be really proud of and I’m sure it will also be a major drawcard for visitors and tourists.’’

The 41.5 metre truss arch bridge replaces the original suspension bridge which was closed five years ago as it was deemed unsafe following a structural assessment. However, elements of the old bridge will be retained for heritage significance and interpretive signs have been developed to convey the iconic installation’s history.

DRC received $738,000 from the Australian Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Phase 2 to construct Wellington’s new pedestrian bridge, with Council contributing over $470,000 towards the project.

The first sod was turned on 23 April, 2022, followed by lifting the bridge into place just three months later on 22 July after the construction of piers and other preparatory work. DRC engaged TELEO DESIGN to design and oversee the construction of the bridge.

The Wellington Pedestrian Bridge is located about four metres south of the former suspension bridge and is an integral link to the upgraded granite pathway network on the eastern river bank, and to Brennan’s Way, the Showground and Mt Arthur.

Federal member for Calare Andrew Gee MP said today is an exciting new chapter for the local community in Wellington, with the ribbon cut on the town’s brand-new Pedestrian Bridge!

“With the installation of the new truss arch bridge, residents and visitors in Wellington can bolt over the Bell River, making the passage from Pioneer to Cameron Park easy as pie. Competing sporting teams and spectators watching the action at Pioneer Park can now dash to the Wellington CBD area for a pre- or post-game snack, providing a welcome boost to local businesses.

“The original wooden crossing has been greatly missed since it closed five years ago, so it’s fantastic that the former Coalition Government supported the project with a $738,000 grant to see a bigger and better bridge installed.

“The old crossing was very narrow and not wheelchair accessible, so it’s great that the new steel bridge is accessible for all, benefitting the whole community for generations to come!” said Mr Gee.

Last Edited: 12 Sep 2022

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