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GLEBE ISLAND BRIDGE (S103134)

It is resolved that Council:

(A)      note:

(i)          the Glebe Island Bridge operated from 1903 to 1995, connecting Pyrmont to Glebe Island and Rozelle.  As one of the earliest “swing” bridges and the second oldest surviving bridges across a Sydney Harbour Waterway, it has been nominated as a heritage item of state significance;

(ii)         Glebe Island Bridge is located within the Bays Precinct; an area of approximately 80 hectares that includes Glebe Island, White Bay, White Bay Power Station, Rozelle Bay, Rozelle Rail Yards and Blackwattle Bay;

(iii)        in 1995, the Bridge was decommissioned following the opening of the Anzac Bridge and its future has been under consideration by the Bays Precinct Taskforce since 2007.  The Bays Precinct Community Reference Group (CRG) was formed by the Taskforce to provide stakeholder input, including community groups, residents, business, maritime industries and unions, the City and other local councils and representatives of Government agencies;

(iv)       the CRG, and the City, in a separate submission in 2009, identified a number of opportunities for the future use of Glebe Island Bridge to improve pedestrian and cycle connections, and enable efficient transport access to facilitate renewal of the Bay Precinct. The Bridge would operate similar to the Spit Bridge with set opening times for watercraft to access the southern Bays.  There is strong community support for retaining Glebe Island Bridge as a link that would complete the foreshore access vision;

(v)        Transport for NSW has released a cost-benefit analysis of options for the Glebe Island Bridge undertaken by ACIL Allen Consulting, which concludes the demolition of the Bridge has a higher net present value than restoration;

(vi)       however, the ACIL Allen Consulting study focuses on the time savings to maritime vessels from demolition, and excludes or under-estimates the benefits of a restored Glebe Island Bridge.  These include:

(a)       no heritage valuation;

(b)       avoided traffic congestion on nearby road networks (eg. Victoria Road);

(c)       no valuation for modal shifts to cycling and walking (eg. lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions);

(d)       no allowance for future growth in pedestrians and cyclists, especially if residential development occurs on Glebe Island; and

(e)       no allowance for tourism expenditure and amenity value from an integrated foreshore link; and

(B)       request that the Chief Executive Officer:

 

(i)          investigate the cost of commission commissioning an independent economic peer review to assess the Options for Glebe Island study by ACIL Allen Consulting;

(ii)         report the cost and financial implications via a CEO update; and

 

(iii)        prepare a an evidence based submission supporting retention and restoration of the Glebe Island Bridge to Transport for NSW on the Options for Glebe Island study which is on public exhibition until 15 November 2013.

 

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