Out with the old and in with the new, Tabulam bridge opens
THE new Tabulam Bridge is officially open but plans are in place to reuse the historic Tabulam Bridge to benefit the community.
The $48 million dollar bridge replaces the former 120-year old bridge with the aim of easing travel times for local commuters.
Minister Agriculture and Western NSW Adam Marshall said the new bridge will be important infrastructure for the northern part of the NSW.
"The bridge is a significant connector between Kyogle and Tenterfield local government areas and plays an important role for freight connectivity by future-proofing the northern part of the state with a vital two lane east-west route.
"The project has also supported 40 full time jobs and 25 local suppliers and subcontractors which has been a much-needed boost for the local economy during challenging times."
Despite the old bridge being replaced, MLC Ben Franklin said there was plans to make use of the historic bridge going forward.
"Sadly the original bridge built in 1903 no longer meets the needs of road users and the community and it is not financially viable to maintain it for pedestrian access," Mr Franklin said.
"That's why we are inviting the local community to take one last walk across the bridge this weekend.
"We will also be working with council, local museums and the school to potentially reuse some timber elements of the original bridge in local art and installations and other timber bridges to create a lasting legacy."
Mr Marshall said there was plans to ensure the local indigenous population could pay respect to the culturally important site.
"The old Tabulam Bridge also holds important cultural and sentimental value to the local Bundjalung people, the original custodians of the northern coastal area of NSW," he said.
"As part of its legacy we will building a viewing area on the eastern bank of the Clarence River to commemorate the former bridge and recognise its importance to local Aboriginal communities and the formation of the Australian Light Horse."