9 September 2022

New footbridge for Flowerdale Lagoon

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen and Chris Roe
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flowerdale lagoon footbridge

Wagga City Council recently installed a new footbridge for Flowerdale Lagoon. Photo: Wagga City Council.

The recently installed footbridge for the Flowerdale Lagoon anabranch is set to provide a safe and all-inclusive crossing for users.

The old bridge, near the corner of Edward and Moorong streets to the city’s west, had steadily deteriorated and reached the end of its useful life.

The new, pre-constructed, three-metre wide by 15-metre long footbridge was fitted across the Flowerdale Lagoon anabranch on the Wiradjuri Trail on 31 August.

Wagga Wagga City Council said a 100-tonne crane was used to lower the new footbridge which was installed on the same day it arrived from Queensland.

Wagga City Council works and playground officer John Conlan said due to the damp ground conditions, the installation process was quite challenging given the site’s awkward position.

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“We had to bring in a 100-tonne capacity crane to lift the structure off the truck and then raise it over the large gum trees which line the banks of the anabranch, before lowering it onto the new concrete abutment,” Mr Conlan said.

“It all went smoothly, and the contractors have now secured it in place.

“The next task will be putting in the approaches, which is scheduled to take place next week, depending on weather conditions.”

Wagga Council’s parks and recreation assets officer Rob Owers said the footbridge is made of new-technology treated timber, with an expected lifespan of 80 years, which is similar to a steel-and-concrete bridge.

“The footbridge will provide a safe, all-inclusive crossing of the Flowerdale Lagoon, making walking and riding the trail easy and enjoyable for families and other users,” Mr Owers said.

“It will increase access for people of all abilities and will also enable cyclists to use this section of the Wiradjuri Trail.”

The footbridge was one of three high-priority projects identified for the popular 42 km walking track that surrounds the city.

Wagga Council launched the Wiradjuri Trail Master Plan in August last year, setting out a 10-year improvement blueprint that includes more than $6 million worth of proposed development.

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The aim is to “connect the local community and environment, highlight places of significance to the Wiradjuri and First Nations peoples, and transform the trail into a major tourism asset that will benefit our local economy”.

In addition to the footbridge, the plan proposes a new path and improved parking for the Flowerdale Lagoon precinct as well as eventually introducing interpretive signage, and bathroom facilities.

Before work began on the bridge replacement, Wiradjuri elder Uncle James Ingram carried out a cultural assessment at the site.

Flowerdale is recognised as one of nine culturally significant Aboriginal sites around Wagga and Uncle James said it was important to check for First Nations artefacts.

The section between Scott Street and Flowerdale is closed until the council completes the work.

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