Kempsey Shire Council’s long awaited plan of a second bridge has taken its first step forward following the state budget announcing $1m in funding towards the design.
The second bridge would connect South Kempsey to West Kempsey, providing a vital link for the community in accessing a number of businesses and emergency services located in both Central and West Kempsey.
An additional bridge would also aid in reducing traffic congestion.
In a statement sent to the Argus, Mayor Liz Campbell said this design flow was always the plan for the town.
“Kempsey was originally designed for a circular flow with ferry crossings connecting South, West and East Kempsey. An alternative second bridge over the Macleay River has been a long term aspiration for the Kempsey community and Council,” Cr Campbell said.
The recent funding commitment from the NSW state budget allows the council to begin the planing process and develop a detailed design concept for the second bridge.
Mayor Campbell said it’s rewarding to see this issue acknowledged in the budget.
“The South West Connect bridge was identified as a priority in the South Kempsey Urban and Social Plan and has been a priority for the Chamber of Commerce for over 10 years,” Cr Campbell said.
“Melinda Pavey also recognises that this bridge will become a critical piece of transport and social connecting infrastructure for our region as we continue to grow and develop.”
Detailed design works are yet to be completed but the concept would be for the alternate bridge to be located west of the Lord Street Traffic Bridge and adjacent to the existing railway bridge.
“[With the $1m funding] we can now take another step closer to achieving the South West Connect Bridge,” Cr Campbell said.