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Long footbridge

Safety investment for iconic Lakes Entrance footbridge

Friday 14 July

East Gippsland Shire Council has approved an upgrade for the iconic Lakes Entrance footbridge, with a contract being awarded at Council’s July meeting to replace deteriorating safety railing on both sides and install LED lighting.

 

Mayor, Cr Joe Rettino, said the shire had received funding from the Federal Government’s Roads to Recovery Funding Program, which would fund most of the $540,000 project.

 

“This is a real investment by Council in one of our region’s most recognisable tourism icons,” Cr Rettino said.

 

Since the 2008 replacement of the timber Cunninghame Arm footbridge with a reinforced concrete structure, problems have been encountered with significant electrolysis and corrosion of the mild steel safety rails.

 

In recent years the railing has become extremely unsightly.

 

Council staff have been treating the corroded metal with touch up paint and with white industrial grade ‘contact’ wrap.

 

In the opinion of the marine engineers, any structure constructed in Cunninghame Arm from any metal other than a 316 marine grade stainless steel, is likely to have a very short lifespan and would require expensive regular ongoing maintenance.

 

Cr Rettino said the works would involve replacement of the mild steel safety railing with 316 grade stainless steel and replacement of existing fluorescent lighting with LED lighting.

 

“The new safety railing is expected to stand the test of time and improved LED lighting will enhance public safety, while being energy efficient and making this iconic structure stand out at night.

 

“Hundreds of thousands of people each year enjoy this iconic structure while walking to and from the surf beach and the investment in this upgrade will ensure that many millions more will be able to enjoy the structure.

 

“We are grateful that we have been able to secure $523,000 through the Federal Government’s Roads to Recovery funding stream due to the footbridge being technically regarded as a road. Council will contribute $26,000 through its Capital Works Program.”

 

Council awarded the contract to Eastern Roads and Bridges and work is expected to commence in coming weeks.

 

“We are aiming to have the works completed by December in time for the busy summer holiday period,” Cr Rettino said.

 

“During this time we will endeavour to minimise disruption to footbridge users, but there will be certain restrictions enforced due to the nature of the works.”

 

 

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