Railway footbridge restoration nearly finished

Work to fully restore the historic 1906 railway footbridge in Oamaru should be finished within a month, the trust managing the $27,000 project says.

Work began this week on the final stages of a two-month restoration effort, which was proposed by the Waitaki Rotary Club.

Waitaki Rotary Club member and former Waitaki district mayor Alan McLay said he was looking forward to seeing the bridge re-opened after a massive fundraising effort from the local community.

The work has been planned and overseen by the Friendly Bay Railway Bridge Restoration Trust, formed specifically for the project.

Mr McLay said the project had gained huge momentum and support from several sources, including some Oamaru tradesmen and businesses who had provided their services free of charge.

"We have had really good support from local builders, great support from them, great support from local businesses like engineering companies and a host of others.

"It just meant that our fundraising is adequate, simply through what we have been able to achieve through the community."

He said once the chain-link safety fencing was put in place this week, the rest of the "bits and pieces" should be completed within a month.

Local efforts had raised $27,000, and the Otago Community Trust had also come to the party with a $15,000 grant.


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