A NEW multi-million-dollar bridge will span the Parramatta River and link Melrose Park to Wentworth Point.
The new Gateway Bridge was announced on Monday by Parramatta Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson, Parramatta MP Dr Geoff Lee and Dominic Sullivan, general manager of PAYCE, which will manage the project.
They signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enable detailed planning and design work on the new Gateway Bridge to commence later this year.
The Gateway Bridge was proposed by PAYCE – which is also the major landowner of Melrose Park – and Mr Sullivan will engage specialist consultants to carry out the initial detailed design work and funding all associated with this first stage of the bridge project.
Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson said the proposed 400-metre-long Gateway Bridge would be an important piece of regional infrastructure.
“A new bridge over the Parramatta River improving access into and out of Wentworth Point, with the capacity to support light rail would be a game changer for the Olympic Peninsula,” he said.
“There is a good distance to go, but PAYCE are to be congratulated on how quickly and thoroughly they have responded since I first raised this with them.
“Council will do what it can to help facilitate the design and planning for the Gateway Bridge, and we look forward to working with PAYCE and other stakeholders to progress the project.”
Stakeholders to be engaged by PAYCE during the design phase of the bridge will include Transport for NSW, Roads and Maritime Services, Department of Planning & Environment, Sydney Olympic Park Authority, City of Ryde and the Greater Sydney Commission.
The bridge will be designed for bus pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
It could also provide a river crossing for the proposed second stage of the Parramatta Light Rail network, which the NSW Government has announced will extend through Sydney Olympic Park and Wentworth Point before crossing the Parramatta River to Melrose Park, Ermington, Rydalmere and Camellia.
“This agreement with PAYCE represents a unique opportunity to deliver a much-needed new link for our city at no cost to ratepayers,” Clr Wilson said.
Mr Sullivan said the new bridge will facilitate public transport access to the Melrose Park urban renewal precinct, assist Transport for NSW with the delivery of the proposed Stage Two of the Parramatta Light Rail project and provide much needed public transport infrastructure for the Wentworth Point peninsula.
“The new Gateway Bridge will also link the two communities of Melrose Park and Wentworth Point by bus, bicycle and pedestrian access,” he said.
“The detailed design work of the bridge will be carried out by specialist consultants engaged by PAYCE in consultation with Council and other relevant stakeholders.”
Mr Sullivan said there would be consultation with the local community after the design process was established.
He thanked Council for its initiative and support of the project which will benefit both the local and broader community.
“We want Melrose Park to be a standout development and we recognise that public transport connectivity will play a vital role if that project outcome is to be fully realised,” Mr Sullivan said.
“The 30 minute city concept of linking homes, employment and education precincts is very much at the forefront on all government agendas and transport infrastructure is one of the key factors to be considered.”
Melrose Park is one of the largest urban renewal projects planned for Sydney and comprises a multi-staged, mixed-use development resulting in over 1,500 new jobs, new housing, including affordable and key-worker accommodation, commercial office and retail uses.
The development is expected to have a range of new and enhanced community facilities, public parks and other wider community benefits.