STEP BY STEP: The new Grafton Bridge is slowly beginning to take shape.
STEP BY STEP: The new Grafton Bridge is slowly beginning to take shape. Stephen Ward

Next stage of Grafton bridge revealed

THE $240 million Grafton bridge project has been in full swing since November 2016 with an expected completion date of 2019.

The current Grafton bridge is the only crossing of the Clarence River in the Grafton area, linking southern Queensland to the North and the Richmond River and Clarence River Valley.

The new crossing will connect the Pacific and Gwydir highways at South Grafton with Villiers Street in Grafton, via Pound Street to help tackle the congestion problems on the existing bridge from traffic growth.

We break down the progress of the construction and reveal the next stage of this major development:

Piers/Piling

THE RMS discovered some of the pylons extra work to ensure the highest levels of strength and durability.

This has begun and should not delay the bridge opening.

The piers provide a structural connection between the foundation in the river and the bridge above.

The new bridge will have a total of eight piers, and two end abutments, with five built in the Clarence River and three on land.

Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos.
Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos. Roads and Maritime

The marine pier construction began in February of this year.

Roads and Maritime Services advised there are two stages in pier construction.

In the first stage, a two-metre beam at the bottom of the pier pour to support the bridge segments.

With work started on piers two, three, four and five, with pier skirts in place.

Following the completion of piling at piers seven and eight, quality testing identified some issues within the piles. Additional piles at piers seven and eight to ensure the highest level of strength and durability are achieved.

It is proposed to construct new piles in between the existing piles, with designs starting for the additional piles.

The land piling on the north side of the river is planned to start again in June.

Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos.
Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos. Roads and Maritime

Bridge segment construction

IN THE industrial area at Through Street, South Grafton a temporary pre-cast concrete facility has been established to build 176 bridge segments.

Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos.
Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos. Roads and Maritime

This facility has started making concrete segments which will be used to build the new bridge.

The first segment was poured in January, and the finished segments will be stored at the temporary pre-cast facility until the bridge piers are completed.

They are planned to be installed over the Clarence River in mid this year.

Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos.
Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos. Roads and Maritime

Kent Street Pump Station

IN JANUARY, the large pre-cast structure was lifted into place by a 450-tonne crane.

The crane arrived in multiple sections, with parts arriving on float with the remaining crane delivered by 10 semi-trailers.

Then in February, the main walls were poured and cured.

Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos.
Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos. Roads and Maritime

The Remaining work expected to be completed by mid- 2018 includes installing the pumps, switchboard and generator. 

Pound Street rail bridge

FOUNDATION work on the new Pound Street rail bridge begins later this year, with two piles to be bored up on the Northern and Southern side of Pound street.

Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos.
Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos. Roads and Maritime

Each pile will involve a concrete pour, which will take up to four hours each. This foundation work is required to allow ground beams and columns to be constructed ahead of a rail possession.

The existing concrete bridge will be demolished and a new bridge will be installed.

The new rail bridge will increase the clearance height to Pound Street bridge to 5.3 metres, with the new rail bridge to be 42 metres long.

Redevelopment of Pound and Clarence Streets

WORK has started on the residential side of Clarence Street between Craig and Pound Streets.

Excavation, foundation treatment and back-filling have been completed on the driveways.

In April, the subsoil drainage work and kerb construction started.

With foundation work under-way in Pound Street between Clarence Street and the Pound Street rail viaduct.

Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos.
Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos. Roads and Maritime

The concrete paving for the new roundabout near Bunnings is half complete and Through Street has been realigned.

Butters Lane traffic will be switched onto part of the roundabout to enable the other half of the roundabout to be built, on the second quarter of this year.

The Pacific Highway tie-in just north of Bunnings will open to traffic in the third quarter of 2018, after the roundabout is complete. This will allow traffic to access the Lolanthe Street business precinct via the new intersection with the Pacific Highway.

After the intersection and link road near Bunnings is open work will start on the redevelopment of the Iolanthe and Spring Streets intersection later this year.

Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos.
Grafton Bridge constuction timeline photos. Roads and Maritime

What's in store for the next three months:

  • Continue of utility relocation, drainage, manufacture of bridge segments, pier construction in the river, construction of North approach embankment, and building of the new road behind Bunnings.
  • Beginning of piling for additional piles for piers seven and eight.
  • Start upgrade of Pound and Clarence streets.
  • Foundation work begins for Pound street rail viaduct.


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