THE Port of Newcastle completed what it calls a “once in half-a-century” upgrade to the Tippler Footbridge.

The bridge connects Carrington to a greenspace area alongside Newcastle Harbour.

Port of Newcastle executive manager projects and assets Glenn Thornton joined project manager Cameron Clydesdale for an official reopening, the pair cutting a ribbon to signal the welcoming of the community back to Carrington Foreshore following the upgrade works.

“After its $1.3-million upgrade, we are thrilled to be able to reopen the footbridge to the local community in time for post-Christmas outdoor gatherings, recreation and New Years’ celebrations,” Mr Thornton said.

“We hope the timely completion of this project will bring an extra dose of Christmas cheer to the many locals who have re-discovered this hidden gem which has become a haven for the community throughout the pandemic. We know many people use this space for picnics, fishing, walking, ship spotting and other recreational activities and are pleased we have been able to ensure the Carrington Foreshore area remains a thriving community space for years to come and will be a perfect vantage point this New Year’s Eve.”

The $1.3-million upgrade to Tippler Footbridge required full removal of the bridge span to complete structural repairs, the inclusion of all new protective coatings, replacement of the concrete walkway and the installation of new energy efficient LED lighting.

“The Tippler Footbridge holds so much local significance, having been constructed in the 1960s to enable workers to safely access the amenities block and other operational areas without having to cross the rail lines on foot. These upgrade works ensure we can continue to provide safe access to this much-loved community amenity for locals and visitors alike,” Mr Thornton said.

“The Tippler Footbridge upgrade is part of a broader program of investment the port is making to breathe life back into valuable community assets and contribute to enhancing the liveability of Newcastle City. These include the restoration of our heritage listed Carrington Hydraulic Engine House and the recent completion of the port-wide energy efficient LED lighting project, which features themed light displays illuminating Dyke Point and the Density sculpture which is currently lit up in the merry colours of red, green and gold for Christmas and is visible from Honeysuckle and Stockton Foreshore.”

The name Tippler refers to the bridge’s proximity to Tippler House, which was built to support the Basin Coal Loader that came into operation in 1967. Today it provides the only access point to the foreshore area along Newcastle Harbour enabling visitors to safety cross rail lines.

Tippler Footbridge, also known as Booth Street Pedestrian Bridge, is accessed via Booth Street in Carrington.