Shane Rattenbury has mixed news from Molonglo Reach where after a pathetically drawn out process the bike path along Morshead Drive is finally getting replaced using the old Red Bridge from the Belconnen Mall.
Sadly though “blending into the landscape” has been more important than the Bridge’s own historic values.
“The new bridge, which previously connected Westfield Belconnen and Lathlain Street, was a well known icon to residents of Canberra and it is exciting that we can recycle it to create a new Molonglo Reach pedestrian bridge, replacing the shared path which was damaged by floods in March 2012,” Mr Rattenbury said.
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“The former ‘red bridge’ has been painted grey to blend into the landscaping and has been dismantled into six sections to be progressively installed over the next three weeks.
“The bridge has been separated into sections to help minimise disruptions to traffic on Morshead Drive during the installation phase.
“Work has already been carried out to repair the embankment adjacent to the former shared path as well as to stabilise the retaining wall. The new abutments and piers for the bridge have also already been installed in preparation for the bridge deck.”
Mr Rattenbury said work to build the new pedestrian bridge has been carefully planned to ensure works do not impede on the recreational use of the lake and river as well as to protect river habitat.
“During construction, particular care has been taken to ensure the local flora and fauna specieshave been protected. This included a number of burrows which are home to a group of platypuses.”
Due for completion late-2013, the project has cost $1.8 million and has been funded by ACT Government insurance.
[Photo courtesy of Minister Rattenbury’s office]