A Wagga cyclist has praised plans to build a new bridge across the Murrumbidgee River which is hoped will divert bikes off the Gobba Bridge.
Wagga City Council recently awarded a $739,000 tender to Westlake Punnet and Associates for the design phase for Stage 3 of the Active Travel Plan, which will include drawing up plans for a new 93-metre pedestrian bridge parallel to the Gobba Bridge.
Set to become Wagga's longest pedestrian bridge, the structure link Boorooma and Narrung streets through the Marrambidya Wetland and local cyclist Gethin Thomas is is looking forward to its completion.
"The more options people have for getting across the river, [the better]," Mr Thomas said.
He believes the new access point could cut down commute times and is hopeful it will also lure cyclists away from traversing the Gobba Bridge in peak hour traffic.
"It is a bit of a pinch point, because either they have to ride a fairly long way around or ride over the Gobba Bridge, which is very intimidating on a bike," he said.
Mr Thomas drives over that bridge on a frequent basis, where he sees cyclists commuting to work, and he believes it's only a matter of time before something goes wrong.
"It's an accident waiting to happen," he said.
Asked whether a second Gobba Bridge should be more important than a pedestrian bridge, Mr Thomas didn't agree, saying traffic jams are much worse in other cities.
"But if [the government] does duplicate the bridge, I would certainly push very hard that they include a proper bike path," he said.
It comes as Wagga City Council's recreation and economic development manager Ben Creighton announced further details on the new bridge.
"Council received funding from the state government to complete a design project last year and we are currently in the design process," Mr Creighton said.
"Subject to that design, the bridge would have to undergo a range of approvals as well as additional state government funding for the implementation of the project."
But Mr Creighton said it will be some time yet before the bridge becomes a reality.
"The design process will be complete in June, then subject to the results of that decisions could be made on the future application for funding for its implementation," he said.
In recent months the Council has been hard at work creating new pathways across town, including completing a link through North Wagga, enabling cyclists to travel between the northern suburbs and the city without being forced to brave 80km/h traffic.
It is also making significant headway on delivery of the Forest Hill Link, which began in September 2022.
"Works... between Kooringal and Vincent Roads... are well underway with bridges installed with the focus now on [constructing] the linking paths," Mr Creighton said.
He said this stage is expected to be complete in late March.
Mr Creighton said the remaining section between Vincent Road to Elizabeth Avenue is still subject to final approval from TfNSW for use of the rail corridor, although "indicative approval" has been received by the company that manages the rail corridor.
Meanwhile, the Stage 3 designs currently being drawn up include 15 kilometres of new shared pathways, eight new links, line markings and signage.