Red Gum Park footbridge replacement affected by extraordinary events

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The rebuild of the footbridge at Red Gum Park, Bullaburra, is now expected to get underway in November 2021 due to factors outside of Council’s control.

The once-in-50-year storm and flash flooding in February 2020 caused irreversible damage to the bridge’s footings and structural elements.

Council prepared a design for the footbridge rebuild, hoping to have it rebuilt by September 2021, but then had to shelve the plans after flooding in February 2021 caused the bank where the bridge is located to begin to collapse.

The bridge is located immediately downstream of the Bullaburra Swamp that has suffered significant deterioration recently as a result of excessive highway stormwater run-off. Council is negotiating with the RMS to repair the damage and mitigate future impacts.

Read the Media Release: Fears for iconic Blue Mountains Swamp

Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said: “We understand the Bullaburra community is concerned with the delays in replacing the bridge. However, the destabilisation of the bank is beyond Council’s control and it has meant a revision of the bridge design to ensure both public safety and the longevity of the bridge.

“The bridge was one of many damaged assets throughout the Blue Mountains, after multiple natural disasters. More than 330 visitor facility assets including footbridges, boardwalks, tracks and stairs were damaged by the 2019-20 bushfires and then flooding in 2020.

“Council has had an extraordinary and unforeseen back log of infrastructure renewal and repairs. We thank you for your patience.” Ward 2 Councillor Romola Hollywood said many in the Bullaburra community were desperate for the footbridge to be replaced.

“The footbridge is an important connection through Red Gum Park and until the replacement can be built, alternative track access has been via DeQuency Road,” Cr Hollywood said.

“This is far from ideal for Bullaburra residents, particularly through the COVID lockdowns. The sooner the bridge can be replaced, the better. It's also important for our community to know the delays are linked to the failings of the RMS detention basin upstream. I have been assured that updated designs are now underway and the replacement of this footbridge is a priority project for Council for this year.”

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