BEAUTIFUL BRIDGE: Jahn Lenehan captured this stunning photo of the construction equipment around one of the piles for the new Grafton bridge. Despite delays in the piling work, the bridge is still on schedule to be open before 2019.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDGE: Jahn Lenehan captured this stunning photo of the construction equipment around one of the piles for the new Grafton bridge. Despite delays in the piling work, the bridge is still on schedule to be open before 2019.

Will the new Grafton Bridge be ready on time?

DESPITE recent issues, the Grafton Bridge is still on track to be opened before next year.

In April, following completion of piling at piers 7 and 8, quality testing identified some issues within the piles which may reduce the overall durability and strength of the pier foundations.

New piles are to be constructed between the piers to ensure the strength and durability of the piers.

While the work delayed the construction on the north side of the river, a Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson said that traffic would be on the bridge before the end of 2019.

"Between now and the end of the year, further work will be carried out on Clarence and Pound streets, the new road behind Bunnings will open to traffic, work to upgrade Iolanthe Street will start, along with piling for the new rail viaduct on Pound Street and major work will start on the new Gwydir Highway roundabout," they said.

The new road behind Bunnings will go from the new roundabout at Iolanthe and Through streets to the Pacific Highway.

And while there hasn't been a lot of change visually on water, behind closed doors the bridge is taking shape.

"Twenty five bridge segments have been made in the pre-cast facility in South Grafton and in the coming months these will start to be placed on the piers above the Clarence River," the spokesperson said.

"The part of the project involving the relocation of services and utility work, which has taken considerable time and effort, is almost finished."

The spokesperson said when the new bridge opens next year there will be more opportunity to delivery maintenance on the existing bridge with less impact on motorists.

"When the new bridge opens next year there will be more opportunity to deliver future maintenance on the existing bridge with less impact on motorists. While we will continue to undertake routine and minor maintenance projects, there are no plans at this stage for any major works," they said.



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