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Replacement of historic pedestrian bridge

A new page has been added to the history of the Bibbulmun Track with the opening of a new suspension bridge to replace the iconic Long Gully Bridge, destroyed in the 2015 Boddington bushfire.

The new state-of-the-art bridge, built 12 kilometres downstream of the old bridge site in Lane Poole Reserve, has been named Bilya Djena Bidi, Aboriginal for a '(swinging) river foot bridge'.

The locally designed and built bridge spans 82 metres and includes two 12-metre towers that hold the bridge above the 100-year predicted flood level, enabling Bibbulmun Track walkers to safely cross the Murray River.

The $850,000 project was funded by the State Government, Bibbulmun Track Foundation, and Alcoa Australia, with support from engineering company BG&E Pty Ltd who developed the concept design free of charge.

The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world's greatest long distance walk trails, stretching nearly 1,000 kilometres from Kalamunda, on the outskirts of Perth, to Albany.

Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

"The replacement of the bridge provides a boost for communities such as Dwellingup, as more walkers translates to more dollars in regional communities.

"Built in a section of the Bibbulmun Track renowned for its natural beauty and special conservation values such as the jarrah forest, the bridge allows walkers to use the track any time of the year.

"The amazing efforts of volunteers from the Bibbulmun Track Foundation also helped enormously with bushfire recovery efforts and building new sections of the track that connect with the bridge.

"The opening of the bridge also coincides with the redevelopment of the newly named Dwaarlindjirraap picnic area at Baden Powell, which includes the construction of three stairways providing easy access to the river.

"Baden Powell, an hour south of Perth in Lane Poole Reserve, and about 22 kilometres from the new bridge, is one of WA's most popular picnic and camping spots.

"While redevelopment work is continuing, the new picnic area offers more space for day visitors to enjoy the scenery and improved facilities."

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

"The destruction of the Long Gully Bridge in the Boddington fires was a real loss for the Bibbulmun Track, and this new bridge will breathe new life into Lane Poole Reserve.

"The Bibbulmun Track is an extraordinary piece of heritage, linking people today with Noongar tradition going back thousands of years.

"It provides massive opportunities for expanding cultural and nature tourism."

Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200