In 1971, the Vietnam war was still raging, Bob Gorton resigned as Australian PM and the RTA was planning on building a bridge in Grafton. This plan was discovered in the archives of the Clarence Valley Historical Society.
In 1971, the Vietnam war was still raging, Bob Gorton resigned as Australian PM and the RTA was planning on building a bridge in Grafton. This plan was discovered in the archives of the Clarence Valley Historical Society.

Back to the Future for RTA bridge

RTA's concept drawings for a second river crossing in Grafton dates back to 1971.

Forty years later, the current process is about to begin another stage of community consultation to consider the 25 different options on the drawing board.

As the accompanying diagram from 1971shows, the Roads and Traffic Authority had been contemplating a new bridge in Grafton for more than four decades.

The diagram is called: Scheme No 1, Proposed New Bridge Over The Clarence River and carries a RTA logo in the bottom right corner on the full-size original, Clarence Valley Historical Society president Frank Mack said.

The map was found in a clean-up of the archives and Mr Mack has no idea how the map came to be in the possession of the Historical Society or who brought it to them.

In fact, there is no context for the map at all.

Except that it comes from what appear to be much simpler times.

The 1971 concept drawing includes just one option that doesn't encroach on residential property, and largely follows the route of the original bridge.

It stands in stark contrast to the RTA's current Route Options Report-Part 2 that "assesses 25 preliminary route options within five strategic corridors".

The RTA said the next step was to reduce these choices down to "one or a few" options in each corridor.

The process to achieve that includes a two-day evaluation workshop planned for later this month.

Participants will include local community members, government agencies, the council, the transport industry, business and other stakeholders. Individuals who want to attend the workshop need to nominate with the RTA by Monday, November 14.

Three community information and feedback sessions will also be held at the Grafton Community Centre in Duke Street on Monday November 14, 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm, and on Tuesday, November 15 from 10am to noon.

These drop-in sessions provide the community with the opportunity to talk to the experts on key issues about the new bridge, the RTA said.

The RTA will also be carrying out traffic surveys on Tuesday, November 8.

The traffic surveys will involve field staff carrying out travel time and queue length surveys in Grafton and South Grafton.



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