The first shovels are now in the ground as part of major work on the $240 million second crossing of the Clarence River at Grafton – which means the new bridge will open to traffic in 2019.
Minister for Roads Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay and Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis joined community members to turn the first sod – a historic day for the Clarence Valley – with the construction of a second bridge promised by former governments for decades.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay said the community calls for a second bridge over the Clarence River had fallen on deaf ears for 16 years under Labor.
“The current bridge grid locks the town due to restrictions; B-Doubles cannot use the bridge at peak times, causing traffic chaos when 2 hours’ worth of trucks are finally able to travel over it. The new bridge will not have any restrictions,” Mr Gay said.
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said he was proud major construction was underway.
“The new bridge increases the capacity of the crossing – and is vital for over 27,000 motorists travelling between Grafton and South Grafton every day, as well as the freight industry along the Summerland Way,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“The construction of this bridge is a boon for Grafton. It will help to support economic development and create job opportunities for the town.
“This is a big day for the city of Grafton and the NSW Government is delivering the infrastructure that others wouldn’t.”
Major work that gets underway last Tuesday includes vegetation clearing and work to re-level parts of the levee system, along with additional drilling in the river.
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