Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has called on the Morrison Government to fund a rebuild of the Boscawen Street Bridge at Wallsend to protect against future flooding.
Ms Claydon said Newcastle City Council had requested support for the $3 to $4 million Boscawen rebuild, which has been identified as a priority under the Wallsend Flood Mitigation Strategy.
"Boscawen is one of the three bridges that need rebuilding, along with Tyrell Street and Nelson Street, in Wallsend," Ms Claydon said.
'While Council has already allocated funds for the Tyrell Street bridge replacement, it is seeking funds elsewhere for Nelson Street, and I would like to see the federal government pitch in to rebuild Boscawen.”
Ms Claydon said the current structure presents an unacceptable flooding risk.
“A number of issues have been identified, including the low clearance on the bridge, the handrails and the intermediate piers, which have a high chance of trapping cars, shopping trolleys and items that come down through the drainpipes, causing blockages.
“To solve this, the bridge has to be reconstructed. It has to have those piers removed, creating a single-span bridge which would improve the flow capacity in large flood events, allowing for the future channel-widening project.”
Ms Claydon said the rebuild would bring peace of mind to the people of Wallsend and encourage business investment.
"It's been nearly 12 years since the superstorm wreaked havoc on Wallsend, but every time it rains hard the people of Wallsend—the residents and business owners—are on tenterhooks wondering if this is going to happen again.
"Some shops are empty today for this very reason. These rebuilds will be a shot in the arm to drive confidence in the region."
Ms Claydon said she wanted to build a strong community campaign to send a message to Canberra about the importance of the project and is urging people to sign her petition at www.sharonclaydon.com
"There's a Federal Budget coming up in a few months, and this presents a great opportunity to put pressure on this government to commit to a very worthwhile local infrastructure project that is beyond the capacity of local government to fund alone," Ms Claydon said
"Given we are so close to an election, I am also impressing upon my Labor colleagues the importance of this project.
“I think we've got a great chance. It's a great project. And I’d like nothing more than to see it become a reality."
The video of Sharon’s speech to Parliament is at: https://youtu.be/EzG-aCTMm5c