No link I’m afraid but it would seem that the beautiful old bridge over the river is suffering from some maintenance problems which will cost the government quite a few million dollars to fix.
Sadly, in this current economic climate, it seems that the government are not that enamoured by the idea of restoring the bridge and have put up a few options as to how Tharwa will remain connected to the rest of Canberra.
Those options appear to be;
-Build a new bridge and destroy the old one, or
-build a new bridge and keep the old one, but not for use.
Given that this bridge was built in 1895 it has huge cultural and historical significance regarding the ACT, Canberra and the links to the highlands. To restore the bridge will cost a lot more money than building a new one. However, to build a new one means that the old bridge will get less maintenance money and would probably be left to rack and ruin until one day someone will say it is to dangerous to be still standing, and too costly to repair, so we’ll demolish it.
Now the bridge was entered into the register of the National Estate in November 1983 so it has been adequately shown that it has historical, cultural, social, and aesthetic significance, as one needs to demonstrate all of these traits before being entered. However, this does not ensure that the bridge is safe from neglect.
Let us hope that the ACT government shows some sanity and does the correct thing in restoring the old bridge therefore retaining a vital piece of the regions history for all to see and use in years to come. After all, I’m getting sick of old buildings being flattened simply because someone thinks a new building is better. One day we’ll look around and lament the fact that all the old interesting stuff is gone. And that will be a sad day.