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McFarlane Bridge restoration work leaps back into action

Spring has sprung for Roads and Maritime Services, with work starting on Monday of this week on the final stage of the McFarlane Bridge restoration project. A Roads and Maritime spokesperson said the NSW Government is funding the major work to strengthen the historic bridge across the south arm of the Clarence River at Maclean. “Built in 1906, the bridge is one of only three bascule type structures in NSW but it needs extensive maintenance for continued operation. “The work is important to ensure McFarlane Bridge continues to be a safe alternative to the Pacific Highway for divers between Maclean and Grafton.” The spokesperson said early work on the final stage of the restoration project commenced on Monday. “Major work including strengthening and repainting piers and installing corrosion and scour protection is expected to start in October this year. “Most of the work will be carried out under the bridge and take about nine months to complete, weather permitting. “The bridge will remain open to traffic, but motorists are advised there may be delays of up to 15 minutes at times outside the morning and afternoon peak. “Access to a number of river channels under the bridge will be temporarily restricted, with channel markers in place while work is carried out.” The restoration project started in 2011 and is being carried out in stages to minimise the impact to residents and motorists. “The second stage of work was completed in July last year and involved repairing and strengthening the wrought iron tower and lift span truss. “The bridge will continue to need maintenance into the future, but the restoration will reduce the frequency of maintenance needed on this landmark structure.”