Rob Stokes, the NSW Minister for Active Transport, and James Griffin, Manly MP and NSW Minister for the Environment, announced on Monday 13 February that a new pedestrian and cycling bridge will be built over the Manly Lagoon.
The construction project, expected to commence in mid-2024, will result in a four metres wide path spanning the lagoon from Hinkler Park, Manly, on the south side to Aitken Ave, Queenscliff on the north, running separate but parallel to the busy Pittwater Rd traffic bridge.
Dedicated to walkers, wheelchair users, cyclists and similar non-motorised forms of transport, and linking to a cycle path through Lagoon Reserve, the bridge will make it safer for pedestrians to cross the tidal Manly Creek away from vehicular traffic.
At present the footpath on either side of the bridge is too narrow for cyclists to pass walkers, and signs warn they must dismount their bicycles before crossing – which most ignore.
The new bridge will be similar to the three metres wide pedestrian and cycle bridge spanning Narrabeen Lagoon, 12km to the north. Also on Pittwater Rd and parallel to the existing road traffic bridge, the new crossing was opened in November 2022.
Get Active scheme
During the Manly Lagoon bridge announcement in Hinkler Park, Mr Stokes assured the public that $3.95 million has been secured from the NSW Government for the overpass’ installation. The funding has been allocated under the Get NSW Active program, which was awarded to Northern Beaches Council following a grant application for the funding.
The Get NSW Active scheme, overseen by Transport for NSW (TfNSW), provides funding for projects that, according to their website, “support safe, easy and enjoyable walking and cycling trips across NSW.
“These trips help to relieve pressure on our roads and public transport networks and are part of a healthy lifestyle for NSW communities.”
TfNSW revealed the 2022-23 Get NSW Active program “provided $117 million in funding for 283 projects across NSW.”
At the Hinkler Park announcement, Mr Griffin declared, “This project resolves a significant chokepoint in our local walking and cycling network. Whether you’re riding to Manly Wharf as part of your daily commute or enjoying our beautiful coastline on the weekend, this investment will make a world of difference to the everyday needs of our local community.”
He continued, “We know that the biggest barrier to people taking up cycling is concerns about riding on the road, so this project will encourage more people to leave the car at home and save on the household budget.”