Steel arch of new pedestrian bridge at Kirrawee lifted into place

Debate over: Motorists drive beneath the new bridge at Kirrawee on Sunday. Picture: John Veage

Debate over: Motorists drive beneath the new bridge at Kirrawee on Sunday. Picture: John Veage

The hotly-debated pedestrian bridge over Princes Highway at Kirrawee is finally in place.

The highway was closed on Saturday night while the steel arch was lifted onto supporting columns during a gap in bad weather.

Miranda MP Eleni Petinos said further work was needed before the bridge opened to foot traffic by November.

Ms Petinos said the bridge would "improve pedestrian safety and connectivity, and close the missing link in the walking network in the area"

"Princes Highway is used by more than 75,000 motorists a day, and provides a link for pedestrian movements between residential and commercial areas," she said.

The design includes a lift on each side plus stairways.

Each lift is capable of accommodating 21 people, but COVID-19 restrictions will slash that number.

Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras will provide security around the structure.

To ensure people don't take a short-cut across the highway at road level, fencing will be installed on the median strip between Oak Road and Kingsway.

The location of the bridge at the intersection of Bath Road, adjoining The Prince hotel, was questioned after the project was announced in 2018.

Strong arguments were made for the bridge to be at the Oak Road intersection, adjoining South Village.

Transport for NSW said the Bath Road location was chosen following the detailed Gateway to the South business case, an independent feasibility study and two independent reviews.

Six locations had been looked at within that area.

"The chosen site outperformed a number of nearby locations when assessed against multiple criteria including the distance from existing crossings, land acquisition requirements and environment and heritage sensitivity," the transport authority said.

"We have worked with an urban designer to incorporate the look of the bridge into the local landscape and minimise the visual impact of the pedestrian bridge structure."