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Barge arrives for new Grafton bridge

A 48-metre barge to assist with building the $240 million State Government funded new Grafton bridge arrived in Grafton over the weekend, Clarence MP, Chris Gulaptis has announced. “The arrival of the barge, known as ‘Maeve Anne’, at its final destination is a key step in progress to build the new 525-metre bridge,” he said. “The barge arrived in Yamba about three weeks ago where it was fitted with equipment needed for the project before it was tugged up the river earlier this week.” Mr Gulaptis said the ‘Maeve Anne’ will be in place for around 12 months and be used for the installation of bridge foundations, building the bridge piers and installing bridge superstructure segments such as girders. “The arrival of the barge follows the start of work in April on the temporary jetty on the south bank of the river and the precast yard to make the concrete segments for the bridge,” he said. “Piling work for the 525-metre bridge is expected to start later this month, weather permitting. “The ‘Maeve Anne’ is the second of two large barges working in the Clarence River with the ‘Rebecca Lily’ also in place to build the bridge over the Clarence River at Harwood.” Mr Gulaptis said the first stage of a new 30-space car park on the corner of Pound and Clarence streets is now open, with a final surface and landscaping to be placed at a later stage. “The car park was built to replace some parking removed from Pound Street as part of bridge work,” he said. “It will remain after the bridge opens, providing parking for North Coast TAFE and businesses in the area. “Work to establish the precast yard at South Grafton is continuing and is expected to be completed before the end of September, while work to relevel sections of the levee system is nearly complete.” A number of other key building activities will continue through to September, including starting to manufacture the concrete bridge segments, piling work in the river and finalising the design of the new bridge. The latest community update can be viewed at “When completed, the new bridge will have two lanes but has been designed to be increased to four lanes when future traffic levels require it,” Mr Gulaptis said The bridge is expected to open to traffic in 2019, weather permitting.