A bridge over troubled water / Photo: Sam Laybutt/Ozroads

Posted by & filed under Inner West Independent.

A report suggesting demolition of the old Glebe Island Bridge would be most cost-effective has been derided by Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne as “biased and incomplete”.

The “Options for Glebe Island Bridge” report, by ACIL Allen Consulting, said savings would come from reduced maintenance costs and reductions in travel time for maritime vessels passing through the widened channel.

But Mr Byrne said the report was based on outdated and inconsistent data, and cherrypicked information to support the NSW Government’s objective of demolition.

“Reopening the Glebe Island Bridge is crucial to the economic success of the Glebe Island Expo and the adaptive reuse of White Bay Power station,” Mr Byrne said.

“Without pedestrian access the Glebe Island risks becoming an expo without exhibitions and a convention centre without conventions.”

Greens transport spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi said the government should take advantage of the opportunity for adaptive reuse.

“We have an ideal opportunity to improve light rail and cycleway connections by reusing an existing piece of infrastructure,” she said.

Chairperson of Friends of White Bay, Kath Hacking, wants to preserve the bridge as a pedestrian corridor.

“The bridge is an important lifeline between the inner west and the CBD,” she said. Ms Hacking is concerned by the influence of wealthy boat owners on the planning process, and says the figures quoted in the report are “ridiculous”. She also believes it ignores the issues of pollution and ecological sustainability linked to boating in the area.

The State Government was contacted for comment but did not respond before deadline. Community feedback on the report can be addressed to mmc@transport.nsw.gov.au

By Sean O’Grady