Scamander residents call for historic bridge to be saved

TROUBLED WATERS: The old and new Scamander bridges. Picture: Supplied

TROUBLED WATERS: The old and new Scamander bridges. Picture: Supplied

A community survey has begun circulating in Scamander amid fears the town’s old bridge could be demolished. 

The bridge has been closed to vehicles since the new bridge was built in 1988 but has remained open for pedestrians, cyclists and fishers.

Now at the end of its life and showing signs of corrosion, the 82-year-old structure is managed by the Department of State Growth, which contacted the Break O’Day Council late last year with four options for the future of the bridge. 

Three options involved the partial or complete demolition of the bridge, while a fourth proposed the restoration and maintenance of the bridge; a project which would cost in the vicinity of $2 million.

The council unanimously agreed it did not hold a strong view as to whether the bridge was demolished.

However Scamander resident Kristal Love, who has led a survey which has collected 86 signatures in the space of a week, says many residents are against the removal of the bridge. 

“Pretty much the history of Scamander is the old bridge,” Miss Love said.

“A lot of people use it on a daily basis for fishing or just walking over because the new bridge doesn't have any pedestrian rails or anything on it, so it's a well-used bridge and I think it’s really silly that they're thinking about taking it away.” 

HISTORIC: The bridge was designed by prominent Tasmanian engineer Sir Allan Knight.

HISTORIC: The bridge was designed by prominent Tasmanian engineer Sir Allan Knight.

In the letter from the Department of State Growth to the Break O'Day Council, State Roads general manager Shane Gregory said the $2 million sum required to restore the bridge could not be justified. 

“The department's preferred option is removal of the redundant structure and the provision of an additional barrier separating pedestrians and vehicles on the new bridge,” Mr Gregory said.

“The addition of a pedestrian barrier on the new Scamander bridge addresses the concerns of the community which was highlighted in the earlier discussion with officers from Break O'Day Council.”

Mr Gregory also said the department was willing to discuss transferring ownership of the old bridge to the council should it have an interest in keeping and maintaining the structure.  

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop