OUR SAY: New bridge not about the wait
AS I looked out of the front office windows of The Daily Examiner yesterday afternoon the traffic was backed up way past the Prince Street roundabout. It's not the first time I've seen this, nor will it be the last. This time the cause was a car broken down on the Grafton Bridge.
That wait time makes my morning journey of nine minutes and change seem like a stroll.
And there's probably people reading this from a major city thinking, "Nine minutes' wait? What a whinger! Try the M1 carpark in Brisbane, or the M7 in Sydney!”
And it's true, while our bridge can't compare to those kind of jams, when the school run takes place, we all slow down, not for a long time, but long enough.
But is it worth building a second crossing to fix it?
Because while that 12 minutes might be the distance between you and your first double-shot of the morning, imagine if that 12 minutes was a delay for something else.
Years ago, I remember a collision on the bridge coincided with an incident on a rugby field. And the ambulance? It just couldn't get through.
Forty-five minutes later, with a chopper from Lismore on scene before the ambulance could make it through the bridge blockage, everyone, thankfully, was okay.
Wherever you believe the bridge should be, and given the increase in wait times that may happen in the interim before a new crossing, Grafton's new bridge is a must-have for the city. Every system needs a backup, and for a city this size to have a bottleneck like the current bridge, it's well overdue for a new route.