A COLLAPSED golf course bridge is costing Narooma Golf Club up to $5000 a week with knock-on impacts on the town’s economy.
Eurobodalla Shire Council mayor and Narooma Golf Club manager Dominic Connaughton on Thursday visited the work site where the collapsed bridge is being replaced.
The good news is that the bridge should be reopened for next Saturday’s golf play thanks to the council deciding to do the work itself.
“We very much appreciate how quickly council has come on board to assist us,” Connaughton said.
“It’s vital to have it reopened not just for the club but for the economy of the whole town as not having visitor golfers has a knock-on effect on the town’s coffee shops, supermarkets and all the businesses.”
The bridge that connects the front nine holes the back nine collapsed last month when a Bobcat excavator was being driven over it – thankfully the machine and driver were able to make it across.
Connaughton said while local golfers were content playing just the front nine, visiting golfers wanted to play the entire 18-hole course.
There had been ongoing cancellations, which not only impacted the golf pro and restaurant at the club, but also whole Narooma economy.
He praised the speed at which Eurobodalla Shire Council responded and took on the job.
One of the first steps was to get authority from National Parks and Fisheries to drain Little Lake to allow engineers to assess the damage and get access to the pilings.
More good news was that these pilings were in good condition and so the project would just see a new deck built – still this came in at a cost of around $75,000.
Mayor Brown said this was enough great example of how council was doing its own construction work in-house with the council crews getting more and more experience at building and maintaining infrastructure.
Other examples of council in-house projects happening right now in Narooma included the massive $4million Flat streetscaping as well as the Hillcrest Avenue stairway project.
Both men said had the golf course bridge project gone through the standard tender process, they would “still be waiting for the lake to be drained”.
The club was now seeking funding assistance from State Member Andrew Constance, but in the meantime, mayor Brown said council was being flexible with repayments.
“We’re very appreciative of the need to get the bridge open as soon as possible and also of the financial circumstances,” Brown said.
The golf club meanwhile will also assess the structural integrity of the first bridge that connects to the eighth hole, with both bridges while on Crown land being the responsibility of the club.