A new $43 million bridge will be built across Homebush Bay to connect Rhodes to Wentworth Point.
The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure has approved construction of the 300-metre concrete bridge to provide residents with easier access to public transport and other amenities.
Pedestrians and cyclists will use the privately-funded bridge, which will be closed to private cars. The only vehicles to use it will be buses and emergency service vehicles.
The bridge will be made from precast concrete and connect Wentworth Point to Gauthorpe Street at Rhodes. The Environment Protection Authority has asked for the proposed bridge height to be lowered to prevent larger and more powerful boats from entering the bay.
In its submission to the Department of Planning, it says it supports the bridge project, which would provide a sustainable transport link across Homebush Bay.
However, it wants the bridge to be lower to help minimise any disturbance of heavily contaminated parts of the bay. Disturbance of the toxins could cause them to spread further throughout the bay.
Chris Wilson, the Department of Planning’s executive director for development assessment systems and approvals, said the bridge had been approved after consideration of potential contamination and noise. He said conditions had been imposed to minimise environmental and social impacts.
Mr Wilson said the bridge would make it easier for Rhodes and Wentworth Point residents to reach shops, employment areas, public transport services and infrastructure on either side of Homebush Bay. Bus and train services are available at the Rhodes transport interchange and ferries from the Sydney Olympic Park wharf.
“The bridge will allow residents to avoid a 12 kilometre round trip to get from one side of the bay to the other, considerably reducing their travel time and relieving pressure on local roads,” Mr Wilson said.
“The construction of this bridge will provide valuable local infrastructure given vacant government land at the northern end of Wentworth Point has been earmarked for renewal to provide additional housing, open space and employment areas.”
An alliance of private landowners known as the Wentworth Point Landowners Alliance welcomed the announcement of the new bridge.
Alliance representative Rick Graf said construction of the bridge would start next year and completion was expected in 2016.
Article by Anna Patty
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