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Emergency workers and Aboriginal Elders lead walk across new Batemans Bay bridge

Kim Treasure27 March 2021
Batemans Bay Bridge opening 2021

Bega MP and NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance marks the opening of the new Batemans Bay Bridge with Aboriginal Elders. Photo: Supplied.

After weeks of rain, blue skies made for spectacular views for the crowds of people who thronged across the new Batemans Bay Bridge on Saturday.

With a price tag of $274 million, the project to replace Batemans Bay’s ageing but iconic bridge marked a historic milestone with a community walk led by local emergency services across the new span.

Bega MP Andrew Constance said the bridge opening to traffic months ahead of schedule was a win for the entire community.

“This community walkover is a great opportunity to celebrate all the hard work that has gone into making this bridge a reality, and the difference it will make for future generations,” he said.

“Replacing the old bridge means emergency services are no longer cut off when the bridge is raised, significantly improving response times during crises.


READ ALSO: Bidding farewell to the old Bay Bridge and its operators as new structure soars


“I’m also pleased we have been able to get the bridge open with a lane in each direction before the Easter break. This time of year is really the last opportunity for visitors to enjoy some fantastic South Coast weather before winter so it’s great the bridge is ready in time.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the opening of the new bridge was an historic moment for Batemans Bay which would improve access along the Princes Highway and reduce traffic delays.

“It is now easier than ever to travel to and access the beautiful South Coast, providing an economic boost to our communities, and delivering a much-needed new link for the entire region,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Work to build the bridge has also contributed to the local economy with the project employing around 1000 people since major work started in 2019, with nearly half of them local to this area.”

Princes Highway northbound traffic will be the first moved onto one lane of the new bridge followed a few hours later by the southbound traffic moving onto another lane.


READ ALSO: Mogo’s role in building the new Batemans Bay Bridge


The opening of the new bridge also signals the start of the removal of the existing bridge, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, at which time it is expected the new bridge will open to four lanes of traffic.

Today was a bittersweet moment for some in the crowd, who have grown up with the old bridge as a landmark.

Among them was Judy Cross, whose father Victor Ison helped build the old bridge and walked over it at its opening in 1956.

“As we walk over the new bridge, I’m sure he will be watching and smiling and remembering,” Judy said.

The opening also bought back memories for Rosemarie Swan.

“Mum’s dad, Nes Christensen, along with Harry Dunn, build the eight car ferry in 1925, which went back and forth across the Clyde,” she said.

 

What's Your Opinion?

5 Responses to Emergency workers and Aboriginal Elders lead walk across new Batemans Bay bridge

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Marco Marco 7:58 am 28 Mar 21

Guess the 1.5 distance rule doesn’t apply here. They must be very special indeed.

Alan Scott Alan Scott 6:25 pm 27 Mar 21

Poor access for cyclists. No relief from the traffic lights that cause congestion, access from the Canberra road at the pacific highway Junction. All it achieves is the congestion caused by raising the old bridge, a fairly rare event. The money would have been better spent on a Moruya bypass. 3 out of 10.

    DavidE DavidE 9:00 am 28 Mar 21

    Let them finish the job before you complain. The highway is the Princes, not the Pacific!!

    Coastal Visitor Coastal Visitor 1:12 pm 29 Mar 21

    Traffic lights one end, roundabout the other. The primary benefit of this bridge will be a better view for motorists stuck in gridlock.

    Real Coastal Visitor Real Coastal Visitor 1:43 pm 29 Mar 21

    Once the bridge is opened won’t the traffic lights be adjusted to accomodate the new traffic and hence less congestion?????????? xD

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