Last Friday February 27, the contentious Albert ‘Tibby’ Cotter walkway was officially opened in Sydney by NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres.
According to the state government, the pedestrian and cycling bridge above Anzac Parade at Moore Park aims to provide safer and more direct access to major events.
Mr Gay said the bridge is expected to benefit 1.5 million spectators moving to and from Moore Park and 350,000 residents and cyclists travelling to the city annually.
“The walkway is going to make a huge impact on the movement of spectators in and out of the Moore Park sporting and entertainment precinct and improve road safety and access,” he said.
The bridge was not completely finished for its opening but Mr Ayres said its construction had been a “superb effort” by all involved.
However, the benefits of the pedestrian bridge have been brought into question by local politicians and community groups.
Prior to the construction of the bridge, Independent member for Sydney Alex Greenwich said the walkway was another encroachment on parklands that was not needed and failed to connect to cycling networks.
“There are cheaper, less intrusive and more responsible ways to deliver the connectivity that we all want without costly monument building,” he said.
“Our parklands must be protected and preserved. There is no need to destroy Moore Park east and west.”
Mr Greenwich also said that with the light rail project providing a pedestrian bridge over Anzac Parade 350 metres away, there was no justification for two bridges.
Anger has also surfaced over the cost of the bridge’s construction. The construction cost $38 million dollars, $13 million more than the original figure of $25 million.