There’s a stalemate over the future of a new bridge to cross the Williams River at Clarence Town after the Federal Government knocked back Dungog Shire Council’s funding application.
Earlier this year the State Government announced $5.5 million to build a concrete bridge alongside the heritage-listed Brig O’Johnston Bridge on Limeburners Creek Road.
The council applied for $5million (the maximum amount allowable) under the Commonwealth bridges renewal program but has been advised the application was unsuccessful.
The council does not have the funds to match the funding needed to complete the project and Dungog Mayor Tracy Norman said the council would continue to lobby for the funding.
“We are in a bit of a stalemate as we have half the funding for (replacement of) the Brig O’Johnston Bridge from the State Government which can’t be allocated to any of our other bridges,” she said.
“We have 33 wooden bridges of our own and are very much reliant on grant funding for their repair and replacement.”
Cr Norman said the community will need to voice their opinion to the politicians on the issue.
“We need the community to back us on this issue by going to the politicians,” she said.
“We can’t be reliant on the nine councillors, the community need to voice their feelings to the politicians - and the more people who lobby the better.
“We are the only council area in the state which does not have a State road.
“We don’t get enough money to spend on our roads and our bridges.”
The Brig O’Johnston Bridge over the Williams River at Clarence Town was built in 1880 and is the oldest surviving timber truss bridge in NSW.
The NSW Roads and Maritime Service is still working with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to sign off on a plan for the bridge repairs.
The new council recently held a workshop to work through a 10 to 20 year plan to repair and replace its ageing bridge network.
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