OPENING: Get ready to drive on new Harwood bridge
DRIVERS on the Pacific Highway tomorrow morning will be among the first in the nation to drive across the new river crossing at Harwood.
Traffic will be diverted onto a new four-kilometre section of road between Farlows Flat and Serpentine Channel to allow connections to the new bridge between 6pm tonight and 5am on Friday December 6, weather permitting.
As part of this change, traffic will be moved onto the new bridge over the Clarence River at Harwood and the new interchanges at Yamba and Harwood/Watts Lane.
Work will include lane closures and traffic control with intermittent stoppages after 8pm of up to 10 minutes on the Pacific Highway and up to 20 minutes on local roads while the traffic changes are carried out.
The largest bridge built as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade of the Pacific Highway, construction commenced in 2016 by joint partners Ferrovial Agroman and Acciona at a cost of $AU250 million.
It is 30 metres in height with four lanes and spans 620 metres.
A temporary northbound off-ramp is in place while the construction of the permanent ramp takes place over the new few weeks.
The old Harwood bridge will provide access to Harwood and the northbound on ramp at Watts Lane.
There is no pedestrian or cycle ramp on the new bridge, with the existing bridge providing a connection across the river.
Community days to walk the new bridge were planned last month and last weekend, but conditions caused by bushfires forced organisers to cancel the opportunity, with more than 8000 people registered for the first event.
Motorists are advised to allow extra travel time, drive to the conditions and follow the direction of signs and traffic control.
Avid bridge-walkers will be able to walk the new Grafton bridge in a community day there this Sunday, with registrations open to the public.