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Barge on its way as work ramps up on new Grafton bridge

The barge being used to build the additional crossing of the Clarence River at Grafton is pictured crossing Yamba bar after it’s 4 day journey from Sydney. Image: Contributed.
A barge being used to build the additional crossing of the Clarence River at Grafton arrived in Yamba last Tuesday (April 18). A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson said the barge Maeve Anne, made a four day trip from Sydney ahead of an extensive project specific fit out at Harwood Marine. “It was supposed to cross Yamba bar on Easter Monday but a strong swell meant it had to remain offshore until the swell subsided,” the spokesperson said. “The arrival of the 48 metre barge is a significant step in preparing for work to build the $240 million NSW Government funded bridge. “The barge will spend about a fortnight at Harwood Marine where it will be fitted with equipment required specifically for the project, before travelling to Grafton. “A 250 tonne crane which will be used to transfer materials, equipment and workers from the temporary jetty on the south side of the Clarence River to the barge, also travelled on it from Sydney. “The barge will be needed for around 12 months and be used for piling, work to build bridge supports, installing bridge segments and the movement of staff to and from the river bank. “The arrival of the barge follows the start of work in early April on the temporary jetty on the south bank of the river and establishment of the precast yard to make the concrete elements for the bridge. “Piling work for the 525 metre bridge is expected to start in late May, weather permitting. “The new bridge will have two lanes but has been designed to be increased to four lanes when future traffic levels require it,” the spokesperson said. The bridge is expected to open to traffic in 2019, weather permitting.