Town to decide on favoured footbridge

Sam JonesNorth West Telegraph

The future of a proposed footbridge linking the Pretty Pool swimming area to the nearby Cooke Point suburban area will be determined tonight.

The Town of Port Hedland is expected to endorse one of three similar footpaths at an ordinary council meeting, in a bid to activate the tourist attraction, which also neighbours a breeding ground for the threatened native flatback sea turtle species.

According to Town documents, the first possible path would see a 70m bridge constructed on the east end of Pretty Pool Creek, closest to the breeding area, as well as a raised boardwalk over sand and bushland. A chief executive’s recommendation in the report states that option one would be most sustainable for Hedland because of its views, lower construction cost, and the probability of a reduced footprint on historic Aboriginal sites in the area.

The recommendation also says the structures in the first option would avoid nearby mangroves and samphire flat vegetation communities, but are also most likely to have an adverse effect on turtle breeding, despite predictions it would be minimal.

Other options include a 60m bridge on the edge of the Cooke Point area and a much shorter 40m boardwalk, as well as a bridge of the same distance without any connecting raised platforms.

Town documents state the two options would be costly and obstruct the indigenous sites in the area.

The report states the finding will be open for public exhibition and feedback for 21 days.

Consultant M.P. Rogers and Associates was enlisted to investigate the three options and provided a report detailing the environmental effects of each of the three options for the council.

The Town of Port Hedland said it would not comment on the proposal until after the decision to endorse the report had been made.

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