News

Second Grafton bridge finally ready to go

WORK on the $185million second bridge over the Clarence River at Grafton will begin in the new year.

The final road block - approval from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment - had now been overcome, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said yesterday.

Mr Gulaptis said the second bridge was the single biggest infrastructure project Grafton had seen.

"The additional crossing is vital to easing current and future traffic demand on the existing bridge and enhance safety for road users," Mr Gulaptis said.

"The second Grafton bridge will be about 450m long, with parts of Iolanthe St, Pound St and Villiers St becoming the Summerland Way."

Mr Gulaptis said the work would also include the upgrading to four lanes of link roads, including the Gwydir Hwy between Bent St and the Pacific Hwy, Iolanthe St and Pound St between Villiers St and the approach to the new bridge.

> > > EDITORIAL - WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24: REGION HITTING TOP GEAR

Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the green light from the planning department was good news for the Valley.

CONFIDENT: Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis talks with Des Harvey at the announcement of a start-work time frame for the new Grafton bridge. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN
CONFIDENT: Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis talks with Des Harvey at the announcement of a start-work time frame for the new Grafton bridge. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

"This approval allows us to start work to address existing traffic issues around the intersection of the Gwydir and Pacific Hwys at Charles St early next year," he said.

"I am proud the NSW Liberals and Nationals is delivering on its commitments - because unlike former governments, our election commitments are non-negotiable."

Mr Gulaptis said there would be intersection upgrades at the Pacific Hwy and Iolanthe St, Pacific Hwy and Gwydir Hwy, Through St and Iolanthe St and Spring St.

He said Grafton would have its first taste of traffic lights to control bridge traffic.

"Traffic signals would improve road safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, and they will be installed at the intersection of Pound and Clarence Sts near Grafton TAFE," he said.

"Signalised pedestrian crossings will also be installed at Iolanthe St and the Gwydir Hwy to facilitate safe crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.

"Once built, B-doubles and semi-trailers will be required to use the new bridge.

"Buses, emergency vehicles, smaller heavy vehicles and local traffic can use either bridge.

"The existing bridge will be retained, with one northbound lane and one southbound lane."

Grafton businessman Des Harvey has been a long-time advocate of the second Grafton bridge and while delighted with the news, has a word of warning for the politicians.

"It's great news. It seems this time we're going to get the bridge built," he said.

"But we'll still be keeping the pressure on them. We'll be watching them all the way to make sure they keep moving on it."

Mr Harvey's caution results from more than a decade of disappointments as successive NSW governments reneged on promises to build a second bridge.

Most famously, former premier Bob Carr promised funding for the bridge in 2004, only to later withdraw funding on a technicality.

Mr Harvey said he was confident this time there would be no repeat of that performance.

Topics:  chris gulaptis, duncan gay, second grafton bridge




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Police officer charged over egg theft altercation

A carton of one dozen eggs Photo Craig Qawrhurst / Gympie Times

Grafton police officer placed on good behaviour bond

Debut single: Tullara goes down solo path

Tullara Connors will release her debut single Too Many tomorrow.

Siskin River sister releases debut single Too Many

$78k payout for imprisoned mentally ill man overturned

The man was originally given $78,000 over a false imprisonment claim

Latest deals and offers

Too Many - Tullara

tullara connors

Too Many - the debut single from Grafton singer songwriter Tullara

Gummyaney celebrates Naidoc Day

Sami Zacek helps out with some traditional weaving at the Gummyaney Aboriginal Preschool NAIDOC day.

Gummyaney Aboriginal Pre-school invited more than 80 other pre-schoolers from...

Janelle Saffin speaks to DEX Pt 7: Renewables

Labor candidate for Page Janelle Saffin talks about the lack of focus on...

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?