Rail bridge will live on
Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council is working on a project that will determine the viability of the Gundagai Rail Bridge.
The New South Wales Government and Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (CGRC) have granted $50,000 from the Stronger Country Communities Fund to commission a development study to plan and fully cost the conservation and repurposing of the heritage listed structure, as a pedestrian and cycle way.
Considered one of Australia’s most photographed bridges, the Gundagai Rail Bridge is a step closer to again becoming a source of transportation across the mighty Murrumbidgee and a dynamic asset for the Gundagai community.
Built in 1903 the iconic bridge has a span of 819.4 metres making it one of the longest wooden bridge spans in the world. In its heyday the bridge played a vital role in transporting passengers and freight on the Cootamundra to Tumut line.
The study will include consultation and design for the section of the walking and cycleway along the rail corridor within the Gundagai town limits and also an engineering study detailing the cost and proposed design to utilise the railway viaduct for this purpose. Whilst the study will help determine the feasibility of the project, there is still a long way forward before this project could come to fruition.
CGRC mayor Abb McAlister said the establishment of a pedestrian and cycle way across the bridge would be a great tourist attraction for the town.
“This section of trail is the missing link in the town urban cycle way and will facilitate a commuting route between residential areas, local schools and three of the town’s biggest employers. This section will also be the first and most iconic stage of Gundagai Railtrail, with the bridge being a drawcard of international appeal. We certainly hope the study will show us the way forward in preserving the historic bridge.”