Blue Mountains News

Council to Rebuild Red Gum Park Bridge

By Blue Mountains City Council
Archived 21 Nov 2020 - Posted: 24 Sep 2020
Red Gum Park Bullaburra
Council will have to rebuild the bridge in Red Gum Park at Bullaburra after it was damaged earlier this year and closed until further notice.

In 2019, Council assessed the bridge and undertook remedial work on components of the bridge to extend its life and ensure pedestrian safety.

However, the once-in-50-year rainfall event and subsequent flash flooding of February 2020 caused irreversible damage to the bridge’s footings and structural elements.

CEO Dr Rosemary Dillon said: “Sadly, an engineering assessment concluded that the bridge is no longer fit for use and cannot be restored to usable condition.  As a result, it has been closed to protect public safety.”

The bridge is one of many damaged assets after a year of natural disasters. More than 330 visitor facility assets, including footbridges, boardwalks, tracks and stairs were damaged by the 2019-20 bushfires and 2020 flooding.

Many of these are high use sites that require expensive and urgent work, including Charles Darwin Walk and Leura Cascades, and Council is urging the State and Federal government to contribute funds for their restoration.

“Council currently has an unprecedented and unforeseen back log of infrastructure renewal and repairs,” Dr Dillon said.

“While the storms were declared a natural disaster, only essential public infrastructure is covered under Natural Disaster funding. Bushland walking track and fire trail assets are not.

“We are continuing to negotiate with insurers to assess what is covered for the many damaged tracks and trails, and the outcome of this will determine a timeframe for the replacement of Red Gum Park bridge.”

Council understands the bridge is a popular through-track for many Bullaburra residents and until a replacement can be built, alternate track access is available via DeQuency Road and Noble Street.

 
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