A bridge too close
AS an RTA representative brushed his hand casually over sections of the hybrid photo map of Grafton at Shoppingworld yesterday, he explained to one upset resident that nothing was yet set in concrete, that the actual new Grafton Bridge route might end up here, or there, or here.
With every flick of his finger, the rep got that much closer to my house.
No funding has been announced for a new bridge but the RTA would like to make a decision on the preferred route by the end of the year. Four options, A to D, have been presented – though the RTA literature makes it clear that options A and B are not feasible in the long term.
Those households in the map's grey area are in what’s called the ‘study area’ and all of them received letters in the mail yesterday explaining their homes may be in or near the path of one of the preliminary options.
And no matter which option is chosen – some people won’t be happy.
It’s a fact acknowledged by RTA community consultation officer Sonia George, who helped man an RTA display yesterday. She received mixed responses to the new proposals.
Ossie and Marie Page have lived in their Pound Street home, directly in the path of Option D, for 55 years.
“We’re not happy with it ... they’ve told us we’ll have to be purchased,” said Ossie, who has read between the lines of his letter.
“We love it here, we have a lovely home, we’ve spent a lot on it and we don’t want to move.”
Gary and Kathryn Ellem’s Grieves Street home is in the path of both apparent preferred options.
The couple, who have lived in their home for 35 years, were upset that other options seemed to be ignored by the RTA including:
- a connection from South Grafton to Dobie Street
- a third lane on the current bridge.
- “These options are still putting the traffic into the main part of town and adding to congestion,” Mrs Ellem said.
Another disgruntled nearby resident suggested:
- a new rail bridge which would free up the bottom level of the current bridge for road traffic.
- a connection between the Gwydir Highway and Turf Street, Grafton.
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