Clarence Mayor Richie Williamson near the old Grafton Bridge.
Clarence Mayor Richie Williamson near the old Grafton Bridge. The Daily Examiner

Green light for second bridge

GRAFTON will get its second bridge across the Clarence River, says an RTA report released this week.

The question now is: When?

The 113-page RTA document, which includes extensive modelling of local traffic conditions over the next 30 years, concludes that taking no action on a second bridge is not an option.

View the RTA report here.

“The conclusions of the modelling exercise are that doing nothing is not an option as it will lead to extended periods across the day where the existing bridge operates at or beyond saturation levels, with unacceptable vehicle delays and queuing,” the report’s executive summary reads.

However, the news is bittersweet, says Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson.

“It’s pleasing to see the project back on the RTA radar,” Cr Williamson said.

“It’s pleasing to see the projected route and bridge location up for public consultation.

“But it’s bitterly disappointing that there’s no timeline from the NSW Government for bridge construction, nor has there been any funding from the NSW Government for the project.”

He called on the NSW Premier, Kristina Kenneally, and NSW Roads Minister David Campbell to commit to a timeline for bridge construction.

“We had an ironclad guarantee that the money for the bridge was there back in 2003,” he said.

“The Government needs to regain the confidence of the public and commit to a timeline and funding.”

Cr Williamson met with the RTA yesterday to discuss the announcement and the next round of public consultation to begin early next year.

He said the RTA had been adamant the public consultation will pick up where it left off.

“They said the focus of the next phase of consultation will be very specific on precise route options,” he said. “They will be concentrating on a corridor and looking at very specific options such as where the traffic gets on and off the bridge.”

The office of the NSW Roads Minister David Campbell was contacted yesterday, but did not provide any comment.



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