The new bridge from the Marrickville Golf Course over the Cook River to Beaman Park has been built and is almost ready to be opened. People have been walking onto the bridge from the Marrickville side, but it is blocked off from Beaman Park.
Mostly built of steel & large wooden beams, it looks impressive. I am pleased that the final design is one that offers an uninterrupted view up & down the river while at the same time, does not dominate the river. The bridge is good to look at.
The ramp has a nice slant making it easier for prams, wheelchairs, buggies & bicycles. The non-slip surface is excellent.
The gardens on either side have yet to be planted out, but both Canterbury & Marrickville Councils have allocated a reasonable amount of space for plants. This is good.
The only thing that concerns me is the level of the grass beside the concrete access path on the Beaman Park side. New grass has been laid around 7cm below the edge of the concrete path. To me this is a safety issue for bikes & feet missing the path.
Unfortunately, grass being laid at a level lower than the concrete edge, or, grass being chopped with whipper-snippers leaving a ditch between the grass & the concrete appears in many sections along the river. I asked different groups of people whether they think this is a hazard for bicycles losing control & the majority thought that this is a significant issue & Councils should make an effort not to leave the grass lower than the concrete edge or to create a ditch next to the concrete path.
It may seem odd to bring this up, but I have been thrown from my bicycle a number of times when the front wheel got caught in this ditch. A friend of mine is due to have surgery to repair a tendon in his hand from being thrown from his bicycle when the wheel got caught in the ditch between the grass & the concrete on Marrickville’s side of the river a couple of months ago. This area at the bridge is an accident waiting to happen.
Aside from this, the new bridge is great & will serve the community well for decades to come. I understand that a couple of the piers from the old bridge are being left to serve as perches for the birds. It will be good if the local pelicans decide these are a good place for an afternoon nap. Whatever bird species uses them, it is wonderful the perches will be left, as there are so few in the river.