Transport for NSW has advised that it will retain ownership of Brig O’Johnston Bridge, Clarence Town and will continue to be responsible for the upgrade of the Bridge as a State Heritage asset.
The Bridge was identified for conservation due to its significance under the Transport for NSW Timber Truss Conservation Strategy, recently endorsed by the Heritage Council of NSW.
Transport for NSW will be responsible for the upgrade of the Bridge under the Bridges for Bush Program and a Conservation Management Plan is currently being prepared for the Bridge. Heritage legislation requires the Brig O’Johnston Bridge to be maintained and remain in operation for its intended use. The upgrade of the Bridge will ensure that it can provide for general access (High Mass Limit) vehicles.
Dungog Shire Mayor, Tracy Norman said this clear advice paves the way for Council to now build a new two lane bridge at this location and improve access to Clarence Town.
“Dungog Council has secured funding for a new parallel bridge including $5.5M from the NSW State Government under the Fixing Country Roads program and $8.8M from the Federal Government. Council thanks all the community members who actively lobbied the two levels of government for this much needed funding to achieve this outcome.”
Council will now commence the design of a new bridge adjacent to the Brig O’Johnson Bridge and will engage with Heritage NSW to confirm design requirements associated with proximity to the existing bridge. The new bridge will include provisions for pedestrians and cyclists. Further community consultation will also be part of this process.
Transport for NSW will work with Council to facilitate the release of funds and support Council by establishing a meeting schedule to ensure that the project progresses.