HAILED as Sale’s very own version of Melbourne’s iconic Bolte Bridge, the new footbridge over the Thomson River between Sale and Wurruk was officially opened on Friday.
Named Pearsons Crossing after William Pearson, who in the 19th century owned Kilmany Park and served on the Victorian Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, the suspension bridge is part of the Sale-Wurruk Princes Highway upgrade — costing a total of $33 million.
With the June floods still fresh in the memory of the community during the opening, Vicroads representatives made a point of explaining the bridge had been designed to withstand a one in 2000 year flood.
While many other similar bridges are designed to float when floodwaters hit, Pearsons Crossing is securely anchored into the riverbed and has been designed to remain in place during even a severe flood.
The descendants of William Pearson attended the official opening ceremony.
The bridge was manufactured locally, with the steel fabricated by T & S Welding in Wurruk.
Wellington Shire mayor Peter Cleary said the bridge was a welcome addition to the infrastructure along the causeway at Wurruk.
“This footbridge will make it so much easier for people to ride their pushbikes and to walk between Wurruk and Sale,” he said.
Cr Cleary said the bridge would become another Sale landmark, along with the fountain at Lake Guthridge and the Red Sails sculpture.
“Just like how Canberra has its fountain, we’ve got our own version in Lake Guthridge, and with the opening of this bridge, we now have our own version of Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge.”