Kooloonbung bridge design settled

THE community could be proud of a cable stay bridge across Kooloonbung Creek for generations to come, a council meeting heard.

Councillors supported a cable stay pedestrian bridge after rejecting a staff recommendation in favour of a low profile span.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will invite tenders for the design and construction of a 2.5m wide single span cable stay pedestrian bridge parallel to the Buller Street bridge.

Tony Thorne, representing Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber board felt the federal funding provided an opportunity to have an iconic bridge which was part of the town's character.

"We think the cable stay option has function as well as form as well as appearance," Mr Thorne said.

He said a low profile bridge was a shortsighted option, and for a $35,000 cost difference, the council should be looking at a bridge we could be proud of for generations to come.

Brian Tierney, speaking on behalf of the Town Centre Master-plan Sub-committee external non-council members, also favoured the cable stay option.

One sub-committee external non-council member said the low profile option would be "a very ordinary and sad outcome for our community and CBD traders" and another said a low profile bridge would amount to a "missed opportunity".

Councillors opted for a cable stay bridge downstream of the Buller Street bridge.

The council will negotiate with Essential Energy to relocate the overhead power line crossing of Kooloonbung Creek and endorse Town Centre Masterplan funds to underwrite the associated design and construction costs.

The council will allocate $600,000 of the $1 million federal grant towards the bridge costs.

Cr Trevor Sargeant said the bridge served as something many in the community had been striving towards for many years.

The bridge will provide a much-needed safer pedestrian link between the town centre and the foreshore towards Westport.

Cr Rob Turner said the bridge was the linchpin of the foreshore masterplan. The matter will come back before a council meeting once the tenders are received.

Meanwhile, the council will also inspect the Buller Street traffic bridge.

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