By Shelby Brooks
ADDING a slight bounce to each step, the Loch Suspension Bridge can evoke memories of childhood.
Suspended in the trees 12 metres above the beautiful Allsop Creek, the bridge has connected the township of Loch to the Memorial Reserve for 20 years.
It’s hard not to smile when you first step onto the bridge, seeing and feeling the ripple effect of the suspension wires as you walk across.
Built in 2000, the 60 metre bridge was the result of hard work and dedication by two community groups- Loch Stock and Barrel, and the Loch Memorial Reserve.
David Wanless, Ray Humphrey and Garry Knox formed the bridge committee in the hope a bridge would provide safe access for pedestrian traffic from the town to the Loch Memorial Reserve and encourage greater use of the reserve.
They also saw the opportunity the bridge could provide in boosting tourist numbers to the town.
Further, the building of the bridge would require a clean-up of the overgrown vegetation along the river.
The South Gippsland Shire contributed funding, as did the state government, with a dollar-for-dollar grant.
The bridge was completed in May 2000 and officially opened in June 2001 and named the Loch Stock and Barrel Pedestrian Bridge at Loch’s 125th birthday celebrations.
The bridge is part of the Loch Village Walk, which starts at Sunnyside Park, through the railway tunnel before crossing Loch-Poowong Road to the start of the bridge over Allsop Creek.