A new bridge too far
WHEN the Sportsman's Creek bridge was built in Lawrence it was designed to cater for horse-drawn carts and the occasional Model-T Ford.
That was in 1911 and almost a century later, Lawrence resident John Hoy reckons it's time the community had a new bridge.
Mr Hoy has acted as a spokesman to have the concrete bridge built since 1998, when the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) announced it had plans to replace the old timber bridge.
But he believes a combination of Cabinet re-shuffles and changes to RTA funding priorities have conspired to repeatedly delay plans for the project.
The RTA still has plans for a new bridge on its agenda and is believed to be conducting structural and heritage assessments of the historic timber structure.
Despite the delay in starting work on the concrete structure, the timber bridge has undergone recent improvements.
However, Mr Hoy believed the RTA's money would have been better spent on a new concrete structure because the timber used in the upgrade had become increasingly difficult to source.
Yesterday, Mr Hoy and residents of Lawrence gained the support of the Clarence Valley Council in their quest for a new bridge.
Council is to ask Roads Minister Joe Tripodi honour the State Government's April 2000 commitment to build a new bridge on the Grafton Street alignment.