Media release | 14 March 2022
The NSW Government has commissioned a heritage expert to assess community feedback and identify the best options to memorialise the Prince Alfred Bridge timber road viaduct at Gundagai, which was removed last year due to safety issues.
The professional assessment by Conrad Gargett Group Pty Ltd will ensure the most appropriate heritage tribute for the timber road viaduct.
Nearly 140 responses were received from the community on memorial ideas for the timber road viaduct which will now be properly assessed so the most appropriate options can be chosen.
A Heritage Interpretation Strategy will be prepared in consultation with the community, Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council and other key stakeholders to identify a heritage memorialisation for the timber road viaduct.
The Department of Planning and Environment - Crown Lands and Transport for NSW dismantled the timber road viaduct in November last year.
Engineering assessments had found the timber road viaduct, which had not operated since 1984, was structurally unsound creating a public safety risk if it collapsed during a flood.
It was not feasible to restore the timber road viaduct given the large cost, large amounts of timber required, future ownership and maintenance requirements, and a lack of public need as it was no longer required for transport.
More than 460 cubic metres of timber was salvaged from the viaduct for potential future use, including memorial options.
Some heritage memorial ideas put forward through a community survey included:
- Picnic wharf over the Murrumbidgee River, a small replica of the former bridge, pedestrian bridges in local parks, or a boardwalk.
- Viewing platform over the floodplain and bridge route, or at local lookouts.
- Planting an avenue of trees and a walking track along the bridge route.
- Artistic sculpture for a tourism attraction, like the Dog on the Tuckerbox.
- Street or park furniture including seats and tables.
- Stylish industrial timber arbour leading to a memorial.
- Interactive display with photos, videos and information on the bridge’s history.
- Virtual reality or QR-code display, or 3D laser memorial to light up the sky.
- Construction of a town Christmas tree for display each year.
To learn more about the project including the community’s feedback, visit Work on Prince Alfred Bridge at Gundagai