IS this how the old Shoalhaven River bridge might look in the future, used as a public asset, holding events like markets?
This is an artist’s impression by the team at Architects Edmiston Jones, following a suggestion of such a use for the structure by Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash.
There has been much discussion about the possible fate of the old Shoalhaven bridge after it has been announced the 342m iron truss bridge constructed in 1881 will be replaced by a new crossing.
What will become of the old bridge has been raised? Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay, said no decisions had been made about the retention of the bridge and Cr Gash is keen to retain the structure, but at no cost for its maintenance.
A number of groups, including the Shoalhaven Historical Society, have come out in support of keeping the old bridge.
The team at Architects Edmiston Jones are keen to have input into the discussions on the bridge’s future.
Director Steve Bayer said the bridge was an important community asset.
“It has been an important item of infrastructure in the history of NSW for over 120 years and has state heritage significance,” he said.
“While we appreciate the limitations of its deterioration and maintenance, it would be a shame to lose the structure.
“The removal of vehicular traffic from the bridge would reduce the loads on the structure and reduce maintenance.
“A community usage such as markets would give the bridge an iconic character in a fantastic location, as well as allowing space for other activities and providing a fully pedestrian link across the river.
“We are hopeful all levels of government can come to agreement on its retention.”