AUSTRALIA’S LONGEST PEDESTRIAN SUSPENSION BRIDGE SET FOR WILD MERSEY
Demonstrating that great things can be achieved with local talent, Latrobe Council recently announced Bridge Pro Engineering as the successful tenderer to design Australia’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge. The aim is to enhance the Wild Mersey Mountain Bike experience and create an iconic tourist feature in Latrobe.
The next stage of the project is to prepare a draft design and in consultation with the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS), undertake an environmental impact assessment to ensure the development does not negatively impact on any threatened or vulnerable flora and fauna species.
If approved, the bridge is anticipated to cross the Mersey River at Warrawee Conservation Area as part of the Wild Mersey mountain bike trails project and be available to both mountain bike riders and walkers.
Mayor Peter Freshney said “Council has been developing the Wild Mersey Mountain Bike Trail project since 2015 and to have the opportunity to work with a Latrobe based company to design what will be an iconic piece of infrastructure that is a record for the southern hemisphere is really exciting”.
The draft plan is to create a 150m long bridge which would dwarf the current longest suspension bridge in Australia located at Northam in Western Australia. If approved, it is believed it would be the longest span pedestrian suspension bridge in the southern hemisphere.
Managing Director of Bridge Pro Engineering Aaron Brimfield said “It is not every day you get the opportunity to design such a challenging and important piece of infrastructure in your hometown. We’re looking forward to working with Latrobe Council and the Parks and Wildlife Service”.
“Bridge Pro Engineering recognises the environmental sensitivity of the Warrawee Conservation Area and will apply best practice environmental management procedures so that our native species, such as Latrobe's iconic platypus, i snot impacted".
Mayor Freshney said “the long-term plan for Council has always been to construct a high-level bridge across the Mersey River that is not susceptible to the impact of flood events like that experienced in 2016”.
Artist's impression of the Wild Mersey suspension bridge.