Tabulam wants to keep its old bridge too

HISTORIC: Tabulam locals approve of the proposed new route for a bridge over the Clarence River but want the old bridge preserved as a piece of the towns history.
HISTORIC: Tabulam locals approve of the proposed new route for a bridge over the Clarence River but want the old bridge preserved as a piece of the towns history. Rodney Stevens

TABULAM locals support the proposed location of a new bridge across the Clarence River but are keen to see their existing single-lane timber bridge preserved as a piece of history.

Claimed to be the longest single-span wooden bridge in the Southern Hemisphere by some locals, the state heritage listed structure was built in 1901. Recently Lismore MP Thomas George and NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay announced the preferred route for a replacement bridge, which has got the thumbs up from locals.

The preferred route (option D) to the south of the existing bridge eliminates a tight bend near Tabulam preschool on the western approach and would connect at the Clarence St intersection, south of the existing route.

About a kilometre long, the route includes a new, dual-lane 300m bridge over the Clarence River, plus a new bridge at the Clarence River Overflow Bridge 1.

Resident Barry Marshall said the proposed route would increase safety near the preschool.

"To me it's fine and because it takes out that bend near the preschool and it will be a lot safer for parents dropping their kids off," he said.

Mr Marshall said moving the centre part of the existing bridge, to create a new flood-free park where it could be honoured with a plaque, should be how the bridge was preserved.

"That way people can still see a bit of Tabulam's history of the longest single lane timber bridge built across the Clarence River."

Fellow local Jai Kapadia said the new bridge would be a boost for the community and the existing structure should be honoured.

"The new bridge will be good for the town because it will bring in more traffic," he said.

Denise Collins commended the safety of the proposed new route, but doesn't want the old bridge removed.

"I think the old bridge should be left there as a memorial that can be used by pedestrians," she said.

Topics:  tabulam

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