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12 May, 2022

Lucas Bridge formally opened

After many months of closure, the Lucas Bridge was officially opened on Wednesday, April 27.

By Emily Middleton

Gilgandra shire mayor Doug Batten and federal member for Parkes Mark Coulton hosted the formal proceedings in the rain, which included recognition of where the bridges’ name originated from.

Named after Lancelot Victor Lucas, Lucas Bridge was previously a timber structure which was often diffi- cult to cross in accordance with the river. The late Mr Lucas grew up on a property close to the bridge and would often help people through.

“When we were kids, there were many times when dad would have to help people across the bridge,” said Beverley Lewis, Mr Lucas’ eldest daughter.

“They would get stuck, or if there was too much rain and it washed a few logs up onto it, and they would want them removed, my dad would do it. He did that for quite a long time, he would come and help. They only need- ed to call him, and he was there in a flurry.

“He was very kind and helpful to a lot of people.”

After Mr Lucas retired and left to reside in Gilgandra, the council named the bridge Lucas Bridge

in recognition of his efforts. “He also used to record flood levels for the council, which saved them having to vehicle out and check them for themselves. He would just come down and read the metres and let them know.”

Mrs Lewis, her brother, and sister in-law attended the ceremony, and they were humbled by the acknowl- edgement of their father’s hard work that continues to be celebrated.

“My dad would be very humbled,” said Mrs Lewis.

According to Mr Batten, Lucas Bridge has been a priority in the shire for some time. However due to COVID-19 restrictions, rain, and a workplace accident, the reopening was continuously pushed back.

“The long-term benefits of this project are signifi- cant, and we appreciate the community’s patience while the contractors have battled the elements to complete the job.”

The $2.5 million Lucas Bridge replacement project received $1.25 million in funding through round five of the federal government’s bridges renewal program, with Gilgandra Shire Council contributing the remaining funds. The new bridge is made of concrete and is sig- nificantly higher than the old timber structure. 

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