ALMOST THERE: The final segment of the new Grafton bridge has been lifted into place signalling the final stages of its construction.
ALMOST THERE: The final segment of the new Grafton bridge has been lifted into place signalling the final stages of its construction. Jenna Thompson

OUR SAY: Good bridge, but could be better

DON'T get me wrong, I will be very glad to see the new Clarence River crossing finally open to Grafton traffic, even if it deprives me of my "stuck in bridge traffic” excuse for lobbing into work a bit late on a Monday morning.

Allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment and put these views forward:

The bridge was built in the wrong spot.

From a purely aesthetic perspective, having the new against the old isn't a particularly good look. How is one to appreciate the history of the original Grafton Bridge if a plain-old modern roadway is blocking the view?

The original bridge opened in 1932, the same year as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and is on the NSW Heritage Register. I don't think the same will ever be said for the new bridge, so why not move it downstream a bit, and keep the view of the historic old bridge intact?

The bridge isn't wide enough.

One lane either way, so there'll still be merging issues getting on the bridge on either side, and it could be a total lottery at any given time of day which bridge to take to get across the other side in the quickest time. Why wasn't the whole thing two lanes both ways from the get-go, rather than just leave the option to expand the bridge for a future date?

Of course, these scenarios are hypothetical and the new construction isn't going to be shifted or expanded because of my mere words. They're just something to ponder.



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