WODONGA councillor Anna Speedie was congratulated at last night’s council meeting for showing initiative in the city’s soon-to-be-built pedestrian and cycle bridge over Wodonga Creek.
At the meeting councillors agreed to replace the existing stock route bridge and accepted a recommendation to award the tender to Andrew Cairns from Cable Bridge Constructions.
The company has constructed two similar bridges in Wangaratta across the Ovens River.
Cr Speedie said bike riding was her passion, but she had given up riding over the 70-year-old timber bridge.
“I use the roadway now for safety,” she said.
“The bridge is getting to the end of its useful life.”
Council investigated fixing the bridge, but it proved too expensive.
“At $1.2 million it seemed very expensive, so we did some homework for alternatives and it was pleasing to see a tender at $495,000,” Cr Speedie said.
“That’s a significant saving to the community and we are not knocking the old bridge down.”
Eight tenders were received to build the bridge upstream from the historic stock route bridge.
Cr Rod Wangman congratulated Cr Speedie for taking initiative and asked that the old bridge be closed and controlled to stop people from walking across or jumping from the structure.
Council’s planning and infrastructure director Leon Schultz noted and accepted the request.
Cr John Watson asked the council to keep in mind the bridge’s purpose — its heritage retained by including artwork or another form of design in the new structure.
Council hopes construction will start before the end of the financial year.