A second Grafton bridge would help traffic flows and give the city a big economic boost.
A second Grafton bridge would help traffic flows and give the city a big economic boost. Debrah Novak

Bridging the darkness

CROSS Grafton's bendy bridge, we dare you.

This catchy slogan, which appeared on promotional signage en route to the Clarence Valley in the 1990s, highlights just how daunting the task can be for newcomers, due to the fact that wide vehicles attempting to cross the bridge are often unable to negotiate the unique bends in their own lane.

But now, travellers unaccustomed to the river crossing's quirks face another problem after the sun goes down - more than half of the bridge has been plunged into darkness with the outage of six or seven streetlights on the north side.

The potential hazard has been noticed by a number of people in the past week, including Grafton resident Garrett Salter.

Mr Salter said while the problem was probably not so bad for locals, he was concerned about people who hadn't experienced the twists and turns of the bridge before.

"I think it's really dangerous, particularly when no lights are working on the final bend on the north side," he said.

"We're used to the situation but for people that don't normally cross the bridge or haven't been into town before ... driving over that bridge for the first time is a terrifying experience for everybody; rain, hail or shine.

"It's not unusual to have one or two (lights) out but now there's six or seven.

"You don't get any lights at all until the old control tower."

Responding to a Facebook post on the issue, Nicole Delaforce said she didn't realise how "dark and scary" the bridge actually was until the lights were out.

"It's actually quite daunting crossing the bridge with half the lights out," she said.

Sue Akela Day agreed.

"Half to nearly all (the lights) on Monday night were (out)," she wrote.

"Usually it's just the lights on the bend on the town side that aren't working."

A Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman said work to restore all lighting on Grafton Bridge was scheduled to be finished by the end of the week.

"Road users will be advised of any traffic impacts during work with temporary signage," she said.

"While the bridge remains safe, motorists are advised to drive with caution and observe signage."

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