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Charlie Theuma claims his motor home sustained damage when traversing the dip at the Romiaka Channel bridge. The word on the front of his Toyota Cruiser (which was there when he purchased the vehicle) took on literal meaning after the incident. Image: Geoff Helisma

Romiaka bridge dip damages vehicles

Geoff Helisma | The western approach to the Romiaka Channel bridge, adjacent to the new bridge under construction, has been a traffic hazard for six weeks or more; last Friday June 15 Clarence Valley Council (CVC) made running repairs to the dip, believed to have been caused by the new bridge works. Last week the Independent published a story about the state of the road, which has drawn comments from the public on the paper’s Facebook page, some of which outlined substantial damage to vehicles traversing the dip. “I feel for the bloke that hit it in his FJ show car and destroyed the sump on the motor and smashed the automatic transmission in half,” wrote Daniel Blisters Moran. “I’ve been driving over it for weeks now at 20km lol… ‘the dip’ has already stuffed my suspension, which I’ve now got to get fixed,” wrote Aimee Mac. “I stopped going to Yamba until it’s fixed or the new work is done; my car is just too low for that dip and I can’t afford to repair the damage,” wrote Kylie Munday. “My boat trailer came off the hitch when I hit it at 20ks; not a good start to the holiday, cost me over $3,000 in damages, not happy,” wrote Mark Dibble. “This bridge is a joke; I agree the Harwood Bridge will be done before this one. This should’ve been done by now, the dip is bloody terrible [it] gets worse every day. Pull [your] finger [out] people and fix it now not next year,” wrote Kylie Farthing-Kerr. “The bump on this bridge actually ripped off the front bumper bar on my car last night,” wrote Amber Smith. Meanwhile after seeing the story in the paper, Charlie and Mary Theuma contacted the Independent after damaging their Toyota Cruiser motor home on Sunday June 10. A week on from the incident and the Victorian couple was still in Yamba awaiting repairs to their vehicle, resulting in substantial changes to their holiday plans. Mr Theuma contacted Clarence Valley Council by phone and said he was told by a “staff member, who deals on the insurance side of things”, that CVC “had no issue with the bridge”. “When I said I had proof that there has been issues about the bridge she told me she was going to hang up and she did so,” Mr Theuma wrote in an email to CVC, outlining the damage to his vehicle – a broken tail shaft and damage to a cross member – which he said happened when he was “travelling at approximately 50 to 55 kph”, after which his vehicle was towed to Calypso Holiday Park. “In closing I would hope that there will be no incident of injury or deaths caused by the poor condition of this bridge,” he wrote. “Also, we will be seeking compensation for totally wrecking our holidays.” Clarence Valley Council declined to comment on the matter.