Pedestrian bridge plan a step closer  

DECIDING what Nepean River's new pedestrian and cycling bridge will look like has been put to the community.

The bridge, meant to bypass the single, narrow footpath on the busy Victoria Bridge, will link Emu Plains's Punt Road with Old Ferry Road on the Penrith side.

Roads and Maritime Services has released three images of possible designs: a curved S-shape; a straight road supported by overhead cables and arches; and a straight bridge supported by columns.

"We want to make sure we know what the community is comfortable with," Penrith state MP Stuart Ayres said.

"People can evaluate the design concepts."

Joe Grassi, owner of Penrith's legal firm Joseph Grassi & Associates, was instrumental in campaigning for the bridge.

He said he preferred the curved bridge.

"It's beautiful; we don't need another mini-Anzac Bridge," Mr Grassi said.

"I think the people of Penrith have waited a long time to get an icon for their city.

"If this is done properly the bridge will benefit more than the cyclists and the pedestrians."

He said it could boost the river's tourist traffic and provide the customer base for more restaurants and coffee shops.

The principal of nearby Nepean High School, Tony Baldacchino, said the bridge would make life safer for his students.

"You often have your heart in your mouth when you cross Victoria Bridge," Mr Baldacchino said.

"Most of our students come from out of the area and most coming from Penrith would travel by bus or rail.

"But we have excursions and sports during the day, so it's good to know there will be this alternative thoroughfare across the river."

Mr Ayres said the bridge's construction should start in early 2014 and is expected to be finished 15 months later.

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