- Replacement for destroyed heritage-listed Long Gully Bridge
- New tourism feature for Lane Poole Reserve in State's South-West
Work has started on a new $550,000 state-of-the-art suspension bridge to replace the historic Long Gully Bridge, destroyed in the Boddington bushfires early last year.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the new bridge, spanning 82 metres with an overall length of 96 metres, would cross the Murray River in the popular Lane Poole Reserve several kilometres downstream of the old Long Gully Bridge site.
"The loss of the Long Gully Bridge was a blow to the community because it had huge heritage significance," Mr Jacob said.
"It was a fine example of timber bridge engineering and design that told the story of the development of this part of Western Australia.
"The new bridge will also have a story to tell, with an innovative design for an essential all-weather crossing point over the Murray River for visitors and Bibbulmun Track walkers."
The design includes two towers, 12 metres above ground level with a deck, 4.5 metres above the summer time river level providing a unique feature and attraction for the area.
It will be constructed using a fibre-reinforced polymer grating on the deck enabling people to have a clear view to the river underfoot. A double cable suspension system will ensure added safety and the weathered steel components will provide fire resilience.
The Minister said construction had started on the towers and anchor footings with this work expected to be completed by the end of March 2017.
"The process of replacing the Long Gully Bridge has been a co-operative effort between Parks and Wildlife, Bibbulmun Track Foundation, Alcoa and engineering company BG&E Pty Limited, who offered their services for free to develop the concept design," Mr Jacob said.
"With the growing number of people within the State, interstate and overseas walking the Bibbulmun Track, it's important the bridge is built to a high standard to ensure the longevity of the structure, as well as the quality of the experience of the track's world-class status."
The new bridge project has been funded by Bibbulmun Track Foundation, Alcoa Australia and the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
- Long Gully Bridge was a 130-metre railway trestle timber bridge that was one of only a few curved bridges ever built
- A user survey conducted in 2014-15 showed that direct annual expenditure by Bibbulmun Track walkers was more than $13 million
Minister's office - 6552 5800