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Grafton Bridge milestone

It was a hive of activity on the Clarence River on Tuesday of last week as the first concrete was poured for the new Grafton bridge marine piles. Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said the pour took about six hours to carry out and used around 160 cubic metres of concrete. “It’s an exciting day for the Grafton community, because the concrete pour is a sign the bridge is starting to visibly take shape,” he said. “This pile which is three metres in diameter, is 20 metres high and weighs about 400 tonnes is the first of 10 in the Clarence River. “An additional 15 piles will be on land as part of the project, all of which are important because the bridge piers can’t be built without them.” Mr Gulaptis said concrete pouring is an involved process which requires detailed work to be carried out before and after. “Since the pile was drilled a couple of weeks ago, steel reinforcing cages have been welded together and inserted into the pile hole to help strengthen the concrete. “The second pile at pier two, located six-and-a-half metres downstream is expected to be poured within the next fortnight. “After this pour, steel brackets will be welded to the steel casing to support a pre-cast concrete pile skirt, which weighs about 70 tonnes,” he said. Piling at pier three will start once piling is completed at pier two, which is expected to be in about three weeks, weather permitting.