New bridge has people talking

Toby Heys (right) discusses the new Grafton crossing plans with, from left: Geoff Shepherd, Don Skarratt and Andrew Pollack at the Grafton Community Centre. Photo Adam Hourigan
Toby Heys (right) discusses the new Grafton crossing plans with, from left: Geoff Shepherd, Don Skarratt and Andrew Pollack at the Grafton Community Centre. Photo Adam Hourigan

SOME were clearly unhappy and declined to comment, while others walked away feeling better informed.

Yesterday's public information session hosted by Roads and Maritime Services at South Grafton Ex Services Club gave people the chance to ask questions and get answers on the proposed new Grafton Bridge.

Cabbie Phil Beverley crosses the Grafton bridge more than 20 times a day and was among those who attended the information session.

He says a new river crossing is long overdue but was disappointed to see the plans only allowed for one lane each way.

"I would have liked to see a four lane bridge but any improvement is good," Mr Beverley said.

"If you take into consideration the new highway bypass will take a lot of pressure off... with light traffic to the existing bridge it should extend its life too."

After 15 years as a Grafton cabbie, Mr Beverley has seen it all when it comes to crossing the bendy bridge.

"A lot of people are scared to cross it; you have to keep your wits about you all the time because people stop suddenly in front of you," he said.

"If you're not a confident driver then it can be upsetting - I have two customers in South Grafton who won't drive across the bridge, I have to come and take them across."

Meanwhile Pam Fysh of Grafton said she had been to all the meetings during the public consultation process.

"We need a new Grafton Bridge badly, but it's in the wrong place," she said.

"It should have been from Clarenza to Junction Hill and that's what most people wanted. "Instead it will be in the lowest part of South Grafton and when it floods it will be cut off."

Mrs Fysh said her main concern was the height of the levee wall between Fry and Dobie Street which was not addressed with the current proposal.

Bent Street residents Barry and Gay Simpson are looking forward to seeing the new crossing completed.

After putting up with noisy rumbling trucks day and night, the new bridge will make a big difference to their quality of life.

"It was great to see the animation and get a handle on it," Mrs Simpson said.

Topics:  chris gulaptis information session rms roads and maritime services second grafton bridge south grafton ex-services club

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