Lynne Mowbray |
You couldn’t wipe the grin off Des Harvey’s face as he walked across the new Grafton Bridge for the first time, last Friday.
Mr Harvey is an executive member of the Grafton Chamber of Commerce and has been a long term advocate for a new bridge in Grafton.
Mr Harvey said that the idea for a new bridge first arose at a Grafton Chamber meeting in July 2001, when he was president of the Chamber.
“We came up with a list of ideas (of what we’d like to see for Grafton).
“That list was short listed to about six or eight, I think it was.
“We spoke to the media and they did some surveying on it and the bridge was one of the most important needs, of the Grafton community.
“Just after we came up with the idea, we spoke to RMS and they told us ‘no, it’s not going to happen’. After that we held a public meeting with over 600 people in attendance and then we found out that we could get $100,000 to get a feasibility study done; and that was the start,” he said.
Des has been lobbying for a new bridge ever since and on Friday, all those years of effort paid off as he stepped onto the new Grafton Bridge for the first time.
“It was a huge day; it’s fantastic,” Mr Harvey said.
“The feeling is absolutely amazing!
“We’ve been working on it for close on 20 years, I guess.
“Walking across the bridge (for the first time) was unbelievable – it really was.
“It’s a magnificent view and for people travelling across it, they will be absolutely thrilled,” he said.