A car and a truck pass on the Grafton Bridge.
A car and a truck pass on the Grafton Bridge.

Truck traffic to choke Grafton

B-DOUBLE trucks and possibly B-triples could be sent into the Grafton CBD if a plan to alleviate Gold Coast congestion comes to fruition.

Though the project would require a major upgrade of the Summerland Way between Kyogle and Beaudesert, director of consultant company Nation Building Australia Dave Cooke said the plan had received backing from the nine councils affected (including Clarence Valley) with particular support from Gold Coast City and Tweed councils.

“The cost of $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion is peanuts to open up this transport corridor which would service the fastest growing areas of Australia,” Mr Cooke said.

“Heavy vehicle traffic is predicted to triple in the next 20 years, we’re going to have 37 million people in the country by 2050.”

If Grafton remained without another river crossing or if any of the proposed second Grafton bridge routes were built, the increased heavy vehicle traffic would be directed into the Grafton CBD.

Mr Cooke was surprised to hear the options for a new Grafton bridge brought traffic into town.

“We don’t want to go through the middle of Grafton,” he said.

Blanchards Haulage operator Robert Blanchard said the Summerland Way upgrade was unlikely in the short term because the priority, even before the Grafton bridge, was the upgrade of the Pacific Highway.

“I can’t see state or federal governments spending money on an alternative route to the highway when the primary route is substandard,” Mr Blanchard said.

“In the long term it’s a great solution but it should not be considered in the short term.”

Graeme Cromack from Cromack Transport said: “You don’t want another bridge or more traffic in the CBD, we have enough problems now”.

“You probably won’t see the bridge for 30 years ... it needs to be just slightly out of town,” said Mr Cromack, who added he wasn’t directly affected by the RTA’s proposed corridors.

The use of B-triples on NSW roads is being trialled in the south of the State, but is expected only to go ahead on high-grade roads.

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