A new and improved bridge on Lomas Lane, Nulkaba was officially opened on Monday.
The old timber bridge was replaced with a reinforced concrete bridge that is designed to last 100 years, and has an open load limit that should withstand significant rainfall.
The old bridge’s deterioration was exacerbated by significant flooding during the April 2015 superstorm.
Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent was joined by creatures of the Hunter Valley Zoo for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“Lomas Lane bridge is an important link for not only residents but for businesses such as the Hunter Valley Zoo,” Cr Pynsent said.
The long history of Lomas Lane bridge was also recognised by siblings George Magennis and Joyce Baker, who discussed their family’s link to the area.
Their great-grandfather, Frederick Lomas, was the first of his family to buy a farm near the bridge in 1886.
His sons later bought adjacent land along Lomas Lane, with their six families choosing to settle in the area.
The bridge originated as a privately-constructed crossing consisting of two wooden planks that allowed passersby to cross Black Creek on foot or by bike.
The suitability of the crossing was questioned in August 1934 when farm-owner Frank Lomas drowned in the creek after his bike fell through the rotting planks.
The wooden planks were later replaced by a 12-metre long single-lane, single-span timber bridge, where the new concrete structure now stands.
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