IT has taken decades to get to even get a promise of having something done to rectify one of Lithgow’s most prominent eyesores.
But when the promised ‘work’ was finally carried out it was hardly worth the wait.
The condition of the Sandford Avenue railway bridge has been a blot on Lithgow’s environmental credentials as far back as anyone can remember.
Broken mesh, rusted and broken water pipe railings, rusted Armco, litter weeds — it’s been the complete package when it comes to eyesores.
Recently Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced she had heard the pleas of the Lithgow community and work on upgrading the notorious bridge.
She said the work was scheduled for the next time that rail services through the area were to be suspended for trackwork.
And that was at the weekend.
Large sections of the community concerned at their city’s image were delighted when, as promised, a work crew arrived on the site on Saturday.
Flagmen had traffic reduced to a single lane while the workmen got on with the job.
By late afternoon they had packed up and moved on —and it was difficult to see where they had been.
The minister’s promised upgrade consisted of little more than replacing the mesh, attaching it to the same rusted pipes.
There was no attempt to clean up the rusty framework or paint it.
The rusted Armco railing is still there as well and there was no attempt to rectify any of the serious rust issues on the large water main on the eastern side of the bridge.
Admittedly it is a council water main but it will need to be a RailCorp job to clean it up as it spans the electric train wires.
Council has been trying for more than 40 years to have work done on the bridge, particularly in view of its proximity to the CBD.
RailCorp only agreed to carry out some work if council shared the cost after discovering a file from early last century where the council of the time had agreed to maintain the bridge.
The Catch 22 in that agreement, though, is that the railway these days insists on carrying out all work itself on structures spanning rail lines, except for the road surface itself.
Council did agree to pay around $10 to 12,000 as its share of Saturday’s ‘upgrade’.
It seems this may have been very expensive mesh indeed.