AFTER years of lobbying, Heathcote may finally be getting another pedestrian bridge over the McIvor Creek.
The proposed city of Greater Bendigo budget was released this month and includes $280,000 to be spent on a pedestrian bridge on Chauncey St.
Leading Senior Constable Karl Kerschbaumer of Heathcote Police welcomes the funding and said the safety upgrade was long overdue.
“This began in about 2008, so I guess persistence pays off,” Const Kerschbaumer said.
“The bridge will mean we don’t have to close off one lane of the road whenever there’s an event but also it means people will be safer everyday as they’re walking.”
Const Kerschbaumer said the pedestrian bridge will also allow more foot traffic to the showgrounds side of town.
“It’s a tourism thing too — I’m not sure what the plan involves but it would be terrific to have a footpath extending up towards High St,” he said.
“As it stands at the moment I’ve seen people walking along the side of the road and when a car comes along they have to abandon ship or the car has to go onto the wrong side of the road.”
For events such as the Heathcote Show, it means more money for the show society.
“It’s enormous really, for the show it’s been about five years of hiring traffic management to close off a lane,” Heathcote Show Society’s Alan Harris said.
“We did have volunteers for a while but they have to be accredited and it we couldn’t sustain it on our own, so we’re paying about $2000 for traffic management for a one day show.
“With gate entry at $10, that’s a fair amount for us.”
Mr Harris said groups in town have been petitioning relentlessly to council and it’s terrific to see action being taken.
“We’ve met with the mayor, CoGB chief executive and others, it’s a multi-pronged approach and hopefully all of that was enough to get it through,” he said.
The draft budget is now open for public comment until May 18, submissions can be made at bendigo.vic.gov.au or by emailing [email protected]