Building a new pedestrian bridge across the Cooks River would deliver easy, direct, pedestrian access to Gough Whitlam Park for thousands of South Marrickville residents and improve connectivity for Undercliffe residents.
Currently, there are pedestrian bridges across the Cooks River about every 400 metres, except between South Marrickville and Gough Whitlam Park. On this part of the river there isn’t a pedestrian or cycle bridge for at least a kilometre. Our proposal is to build a bridge below Warren Park. This would make it easier for the many people who use the river paths to cross safely and efficiently.
Statistics show that the Inner West has one of the lowest open space to population ratios in the country. This will only become moreso as residential apartments continue to be built in our area. Improving connectivity between existing parks is a great way to make better use of our existing open space.
In the past five years the the Inner West and Canterbury/Bankstown Councils and State Government have replaced two pedestrian bridges over the Cooks River at Marrickville Golf Course and Lang Road. These bridges keep open the facilities available in the suburbs of Hurlstone Park, Earlwood and Marrickville to each other. Replacement infrastructure is great and needs to be maintained. But it is also important to add new infrastructure, especially when it is relatively easy and inexpensive, where similar projects have been successfully undertaken and where the outcome would improve access to open space for our community.
Now is the time to build a brand new bridge to and make open space and facilities more accessible to residents on both sides of the river. A new pedestrian bridge that crosses the river between Gough Whitlam Park, Undercliffe and Warren Park, Marrickville would improve pedestrian access and support active transport to a standard enjoyed by residents along the rest of the Cooks River. During the Covid19 lockdowns the community has appreciated the value of pathways along the river. It shouldn’t take a pandemic to make local government realise that people want to cross the Cooks River and another bridge is the answer.