The Tumut Old Town Bridge, which crosses the Tumut River in Bila Park at the end of Wynyard Street, is due to reopen soon after months of closure due to vandalism.
Snowy Valleys Council Acting Manager for Assets and Design Brad Beed said that the bridge would have been open sooner, but a new bout of vandalism set the project back.
Now, they’re installing a camera facing the bridge along with replacing the damaged elements, to ensure any further attempts to ruin the iconic landmark will result in the perpetrators being identified by police.
“We’ve had repeated vandalism, including the new gates that we got fabricated to replace the damaged ones,” Mr Beed said.
“Within half a day of them being put on they got ripped off again – this happened a few weeks ago now.
“However, the bridge should be open again in a couple of weeks. We’ve just got to get new handrails and then of course the gates fabricated again. We’ve got a camera put up in Bila Park directed toward the bridge, and we’ll put some signage up as well.
“We’re endeavouring to get it open as soon as possible.”
Tumut resident and Valmar CEO Hugh Packard said the vandal’s actions had significant effects.
“It’s been closed for far too long,” he said.
“Many people use it, bike riders, runners, there’s a yoga group that goes up there – it’s a part of the town and it just seems wrong to me that the users are penalised because of vandals.
“Virtually all the publicity material on the town have photos of that lovely old bridge, I was actually in Sydney the other day and I saw some promotional material with the bridge on it. It’s an iconic part of the town and it’s not good to have it blocked off.”
Mr Beed added that the closure of the bridge was an unhappy necessity.
“It’s disappointing,” he said.
“It’s costing the ratepayer [to have it fixed], and it’s an iconic bridge so it’s very disappointing.”