Way ahead of schedule, the Easter opening of the new bridge across the Clyde River will be a major milestone in the history of Batemans Bay. This weekend's celebration to mark the opening of the bridge before Easter is a great opportunity to the community to be part of local history.
Walking across the new structure before it welcomes vehicles will give participants the opportunity to reflect not only on the remarkable engineering feat the new bridge is but also on the service the old bridge has given the community.
Some will be sad to see the old bridge dismantled and removed but very few will miss the delays, breakdowns and traffic snarls.
Saturday's event will be also be a great opportunity for the community to get together in a COVID-safe way almost a year to the day since the pandemic forced the nation into lockdown. It's another milestone worth celebrating because in that year, despite some setbacks and local flare-ups, we've done remarkably well.
Last year, the Easter holiday was cancelled. This year, it's set to be a bumper season. Up and down the coast, tourism operators are reporting massive growth in bookings. Of course, we can't be complacent - the virus moves with people - but we can pat ourselves on the back for several reasons.
We turned out for testing in our thousands whenever there was a local cluster, we wore masks, we sanitised, we kept our distance. And, now, COVID is on the back foot and people can enjoy a holiday again. If we stick to the COVID guidelines and take up the vaccination when it's offered, we'll move closer to normality as we knew it.
The new bridge will see our visitors get to their destinations a little quicker. And it will enable us to go back and forth with fewer delays and a much better view.
If you can't make it on Saturday, at least find the time to walk or cycle over the bridge once it's open.