Transport for NSW has decided to remove the old Barrington Bridge.
The new Barrington Bridge has been safely carrying traffic across the Barrington River since it opened in May 2020 with a report now available for the public on plans for the removal of the old bridge.
Transport for NSW Regional Director North Anna Zycki said the NSW Government funded the $17 million project to provide road users on Thunderbolts Way with a wider and safer crossing.
"The new bridge was completed ahead of schedule and ensures the traffic needs of the Barrington, Gloucester and surrounding communities will be met well into the future," Ms Zycki said.
"It's now time to move forward with plans to remove the old bridge, which will reduce environmental impacts and ongoing maintenance costs, and prevent safety risks from its future deterioration."
Ms Zycki said in preparation for this, Transport for NSW invited the community to comment last October on the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for the proposal.
Related: The fate of the old bridge
"Key stakeholders and members of the community who took the time to make the 12 submissions received are thanked for their time and effort," Ms Zycki said.
"Transport for NSW has prepared a submissions report summarising the feedback, which included comments around conserving existing timber bridge components, heritage interpretation of the old bridge and concerns regarding the social and economic impacts of removing a heritage item.
"A plan for heritage interpretation of the old bridge at the site is being developed and would include installation of interpretive signage and display of bridge artefacts at the site.
"Transport for NSW is also working with MidCoast Council and local community groups about the possibility of reusing some of the timbers to construct picnic facilities near the new bridge, and of distributing timber to local wood turners in the Gloucester and Barrington area.
"Information about the old bridge has already been recorded and archived, including 3D mapping, laser scanning and drone photography to accurately map its appearance and position."
Transport for NSW has considered the information in the REF and in the submissions report and has decided to proceed with the proposal to remove the bridge.
Information about the project, including the submissions report, can be accessed online at nswroads.work/barrington and the community and stakeholders will continue to be advised as plans progress.