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Out with the old bridge, in with the new

Both old and new Tabulam Bridges will be open to pedestrians this weekend.
Both old and new Tabulam Bridges will be open to pedestrians this weekend.

Proposals for an e-book commemorating historic Tabulam Bridge may be of little consolation to locals campaigning to keep the old bridge in place, given its historical significance. They're being invited to celebrate both old and new Tabulam Bridges with an opportunity to walk over the old bridge this long weekend.

MP Janelle Saffin, who supports the community's wishes to preserve the old bridge, will be among those walking its span this weekend.

She said once the bridge was removed from the State Heritage Register, almost secretly, it made its preservation an uphill battle.

"I would have loved for the community to get what they wanted but COVID made this even more of a battle. It has united the community."

Ms Saffin said there is agreement to maintain a viewing platform, potentially constructed from timbers recycled from the bridge and, after more consultation, some form of memorial.

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The old bridge will be open to pedestrian traffic from 1pm this Sunday, October 4 to 6pm Monday, October 5 before it is removed. The process to dismantle the bridge is expected to start by the end of this year, and take several months.

"The community is also invited to take a walk across the new bridge, opened to traffic last month, via the pedestrian access incorporated into its design," Transport for NSW's north region director Anna Zycki said.

"This event will give the community an opportunity to bid farewell to the old bridge and also a chance to take a close look at the new bridge."

Ms Zycki said the Transport for NSW project team is working closely with Kyogle Council, local museums and Tabulam Public School to reuse some timber elements of the original bridge.

"The local community is being urged to share their memories, paintings and photos of the old bridge to include in a commemorative e-book," Ms Zycki said.

Contributions to the commemorative project can be made emailing tabulambridge.community@georgiou.com.au or by calling 1800 314 530.