Bridge naming pays tribute to Eden engineer

Bob Cooper beside the new ‘Coopers Crossing’, named in honour of his 42 years as a forest engineer with Forestry Corporation of NSW.

Bob Cooper beside the new ‘Coopers Crossing’, named in honour of his 42 years as a forest engineer with Forestry Corporation of NSW.

When Eden resident Bob Cooper started work in the engineering section at Forestry Corporation of NSW 42 years ago, he never expected that one of his many projects would one day carry his name.

But that’s exactly what has happened, with the new $700,000 dual-lane concrete bridge over Bondi Creek officially named ‘Coopers Crossing’ in his honour.

The bridge, at the top of Imlay Road, was constructed to improve road safety for log haulage, and to facilitate the transport of oversize wind farm components from the navy multipurpose wharf to the Boco Rock Wind Farm site near Nimmitabel.

The recently retired forest engineer said the announcement came as a surprise, but describes the feeling as an honour.

“We were on site last Friday morning, having a morning tea and waiting to see the trucks carrying the wind farm blades come over the bridge,” Bob said.

“They had the sign all covered up, so it was a bit of a shock to the old system when they unveiled the name,” he laughed.

In over four decades with FCNSW, Bob says it is hard to single out one project as his most memorable.

And when you consider that he has played a leading role in the design and construction of forest roads, fire towers and bridges right across the state, it’s easy to understand why.

“But this (Cooper’s Crossing) is a pretty unique bridge, because it had to be skewed at the maximum angle possible to allow the creek to flow underneath,” he said.

“It’s just a great thing to happen; having a monument named after you.”

FCNSW operations manager Marty Linehan said the naming of the bridge is a fitting reward for Bob’s outstanding service.

He also said FCNSW continues to own and manage Imlay Road, and that the new bridge replaces a causeway over Bondi Creek, which was built as a temporary crossing in 1950.

“Bob was instrumental in surveying and supervising key elements of the bridge’s construction, and the causeway over Bondi Creek has been named Coopers Crossing in recognition of the role he played in the construction and maintenance of Imlay Road over more than four decades,” he said.

“Some loads of the wind farm materials exceed 60 metres and others weigh over 100 tonnes.

“Coupled with an increase in log truck traffic in recent years, the 64-year-old causeway was in need of an upgrade and has been replaced with a new concrete bridge.

“The Downer Group is transporting wind farm components along Imlay Road and contributed a significant proportion of the cost of Coopers Crossing.”

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