Editorial - Thursday, July 10: Only a second to tie us up
ONE driver's moment of inattention followed by a massive traffic snarl in the middle of the city has reminded Grafton why it needs its second bridge across the Clarence.
But the reminder is hardly well timed.
There are probably three particular days on the Grafton calendar where the last thing the city needs is a huge traffic hold up.
Today is one, yesterday was the other and Jacaranda Thursday would complete the set.
While it is annoying for locals to have the bridge out of action for any length of time, occurring on a festival day is embarrassing.
Fortunately the light has appeared at the end of the tunnel with the NSW Budget announcement of funds that pencil in a 2019 finish date for a second bridge.
While there is still a chance to debate the shape of the new bridge and maybe its placement, there cannot be any doubt about its urgency.
Yesterday traffic banked up for kilometres within a few minutes of a truck smashing a lump of concrete out of the bridge wall and send it flying to land almost in a resident's backyard.
Even with one lane of the bridge open, the traffic blockage caused frustrating delays as well as creating a hazard for emergency services.
As we have learned with bridge promises over the decades, it is easy for politicians to break pledges.
Yesterday's traffic chaos provides us with a timely reminder of why the city needs a second bridge and a spur to keep the politicians on their game.