Developer Ken Hughes, of Kellara Transport, has been authorised by DEIR to undertake preliminary investigations to determine the viability of the project, worth in excess of $5 million.
Mr Hughes said that engineering inspections to the bridge were complete and that there were no problems with the structure.
“The concept is viable and we are now looking at town planning and environmental issues,” he said.
“We would hope to be open for the 2006 summer season,” he said.
The steel-lattice truss bridge that spans the Scamander River has been redundant for many years and was under threat of demolition until the proposal was submitted to the State Government.
Constructed in 1936, it was the fifth bridge to span the Scamander River.
Mr Hughes said that the bridge, designed by the late Sir Alan Knight, had engineering heritage significance and the structure would be featured in the development concept.
“I was working in St Helens and found out that the bridge was going to be demolished so I came up with the concept and approached various Government departments.
“The response from DEIR was very positive so we had the initial tests done and found out that everything was intact,” he said.
Tourism Minister Ken Bacon welcomed the concept as an exciting and unique opportunity to utilise the bridge for the burgeoning tourist market and said that as long as it met the necessary planning and environmental requirements that it would enhance the Tasmanian and East Coast tourism industry.
A public forum on site is planned for January to allow the public the opportunity to ask questions.
Features of the bridge redevelopment proposal.
¤60 self-contained four-star apartments.
¤Foyer and reception area with 30-seat conference area.
¤Art and photographic display and sales facilities including local history display featuring Scamander and its bridges. ¤Upper deck restaurant with 270 deg. views of the surrounding landscape and Scamander River.
¤Facilities for disabled people.
¤Redevelopment of recreational areas including improved sandy beach on the river.
¤Salt water, solar heated pool set into the river’s edge.
¤Boating access pontoon.
¤Pontoon for guests’ use for swimming and snorkelling anchored in the river basin.
¤Boardwalk passing under the new bridge to the main Scamander surf beach.
¤Redevelopment of the existing carpark area to provide for 80 cars.
¤Additional car park at the northern end of the bridge for 10 cars.
¤The surrounding land will remain public land for recreational use.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.