Grafton Bridge times blow out at peak hours

ARE you one of those unfortunate souls forced to do the Grafton Bridge shuffle every morning and afternoon?

Get used to it, because until the new bridge opens in 2019, it's not going to get any better.

According to an RMS report released in 2012, the amount of traffic attempting to cross the Grafton Bridge during peak hours was expected to increase by 1.5% each year.

A survey completed in 2012 showed an average 12,456 people crossed the bridge between 7am and 9am in 2011.

Using this figure, it was estimated that by 2019 that number would increase to 14,040.

That was before the announcement of the construction of the new jail at Lavadia, south of Grafton, and other significant projects in the region, which may affect that number.

The report also said that without a new bridge, the system was forecast to become "heavily congested" in the 2029 peak periods and beyond.

But we'll let you be the judge of what qualifies as heavily congested.

Yesterday morning, Daily Examiner staff put pedal to the metal and timed their trips into Grafton via the bridge, from the Bent St roundabout to the Villiers St intersection.

According to Google Maps, the trip should take three minutes.

At 8.34am it took four times that number, the worst time recorded across the morning.

At 7.45am, it took just under five minutes.

The afternoon traffic was not measured, but just before 4pm, a vehicle broke down in the southern lane of the Grafton bridge, causing traffic to bank up past the Prince St roundabout.

Several vehicles gave up and turned around before the stalled vehicle could be cleared.

A comment from Roads and Maritime Services on the peak hour traffic has been sought, but was not received at the time of print.

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