An innovative bridge planned for Sydney’s Inner West is closer to becoming reality after plans placed on public exhibition generated community support, writes MirandaFarrell.
The Homebush Bay Bridge Project was open to public viewing on the Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s website until May 4.
Andrew Beattie, senior planner for the Department, said the vast majority of responses indicated “full support for the bridge”.
If approved, Homebush Bay Bridge would become a significant new landmark in the Inner West.
Stretching 300 metres across Parramatta River, it would connect Rhodes and Wentworth Point, two of the area’s newest communities.
Under current plans, the bridge would not be open to private cars but would instead carry public transport and include a cycleway, footpath and emergency vehicle access.
It is estimated the bridge would take approximately 24 months to complete and cost around $40 million.
Mr Beattie said the development was a joint project between four Wentworth Point landowners who said they hoped the bridge will make the area a more attractive place to live.
But ownership of the bridge would pass on to Sydney Olympic Park Authority upon completion, he said.
Lance Brooks, social sustainability coordinator for the development, said the bridge would enhance the sense of community in the area.
“The bridge would connect Rhodes and Wentworth Point to public transport, shopping and parks,” he said.
“It would set a benchmark in environmentally sustainable transport and service infrastructure in Sydney.”
Mr Brooks said the bridge would also create a six-kilometre bay walk connecting the wetlands to Rhodes and Wentworth Point.
Bronwyn Evans, president of Wentworth Point Community Central, said she believed locals were supportive of the plan.
“The bridge would provide good access to Rhodes Shopping Centre, and importantly, to Rhodes Railway Station,” she said.
But there are some concerns about the proposal.
Ms Evans said it was important to consider the volume of bus traffic the bridge could introduce into local streets. Another concern was whether an increase in highrise buildings could result from further development in the area, and Ms Evans said she hoped building heights around Wentworth Point would be constrained as much as possible.