Project manager James O’Connor, Clarence Duty MLC Greg Donnelly and acting regional manager RTA Chris Harrison look at the Harwood Bridge lift span in operation.
Project manager James O’Connor, Clarence Duty MLC Greg Donnelly and acting regional manager RTA Chris Harrison look at the Harwood Bridge lift span in operation.

Harwood Bridge close to complete

SAILING boats stuck on either side of the Harwood Bridge don’t have too much longer to wait until they have their river freedom returned.

The lift span has been closed for months as the Roads and Traffic Authority did major maintenance on the bridge.

That meant any vessel with a vertical clearance of more than 8.5 metres was unable to pass under the bridge.

Country Labor MLC for Clarence Greg Donnelly was on site yesterday to announce the $7.5 million upgrade of the bridge was close to completion.

“This is an important bridge for the local community,” he said.

“The major overhaul of the Harwood Bridge lift span will minimise the potential for future traffic disruptions, improve safety for the bridge operator and maintenance crews, and minimise ongoing maintenance costs.”

The upgrade of the mechanical and electrical systems required the lift span to be closed.

“Once this work is complete it will allow the lift span to be re-opened in late May 2010, weather permitting, which is a couple of months earlier than the RTA expected,” Mr Donnelly said.

He said test lifts were likely to occur as part of the re-commissioning process.

A barge which has been moored in the Clarence River is expected to remain in place until mid-2010 until all work is finished.

“This barge allowed the RTA to safely and efficiently load and unload mechanical and electrical materials used in the upgrade,” Mr Donnelly said.

This upgrade was carried out by the State Government.



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