Lawrence - Sportsmans Creek - Bridges for the Bush

Roads and Maritime Services is building a new bridge over Sportsmans Creek at Lawrence.

Bridge over Sportsmans Creek at Lawrence

Updates and announcements

Project update

The landscape of Lawrence is rapidly changing as work progresses. As you drive through Lawrence you can really see the new bridge taking shape. There is plenty more to do but we are getting closer to finishing the new bridge. View or download the project update (PDF, 569Kb) to find out more.

Work to take place outside normal construction hours

Changes to working hours will start next week for work to progress on the new bridge across Sportsmans Creek.

Out of hours work will take place on Thursdays 12, 19 and 26 October between 5am and 7am so concrete work can be carried out before the expected high day time temperatures.

The work will be carried out on the southern side of the bridge. Motorists are advised there will be increased light and vehicle movements during these work hours.

Construction work and traffic changes

The temporary part closure of Grafton Street is extended until November 2017, weather permitting. This will allow work to continue on and near Grafton Street. For more information, view the letter to residents.

Work is underway on the road approach to the new bridge. A temporary side road is in place for motorists at the intersection of Weir and Ensbey roads. Motorists accessing Weir Road are able to travel on the temporary side road until late 2017, weather permitting. Please see the Weir and Ensbey Road intersection changes notification for more information.

The Flo Clark Park boat ramp is now closed to the public as work progresses in the area. River users can use the boat ramp at Lawrence Memorial Park as an alternative while the new bridge is being built. View or download the July letter to residents.

Decision made to remove the existing bridge

After considering the public submissions received during the July/August 2016 display period, Roads and Maritime has determined the review of environmental factors (REF) and announced its decision to remove the existing bridge. The removal work will be carried out with strict adherence to environmental controls.

submissions report is available showing responses to all questions and comments raised. The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has reviewed both the submissions report and the REF for the removal of the existing bridge and agree that the environmental mitigation measures proposed are appropriate, provided certain conditions are met. Those conditions are explained in the concurrence letter.

The existing bridge will be removed after the new bridge is finished and open to traffic.

Project background

The existing Sportsmans Creek Bridge is located at the southern approach to Lawrence on Bridge Street, which connects to Grafton-Lawrence Road. Due to its geometry and design limitations, the existing bridge is unable to be safely or cost-effectively serviced and upgraded to cater for future requirements of surrounding agricultural industries, local traffic and pedestrian access.

The NSW Timber Truss Bridge Conservation Strategy considered the suitability of the remaining 48 timber truss bridges. The Sportsmans Creek Bridge will be removed and replaced with a new structure. Roads and Maritime Services is working with Clarence Valley Council and the local community to replace the existing bridge.

Following the examination of a shortlist of options, one option became clearly preferable. This option (the recommended option) delivered the most benefits when technical studies were carried out. These studies included examining potential flooding, noise, traffic and environmental impacts. This option is detailed in the Recommended Options Report.

Drop in sessions were held in mid-December 2013 to gather community input on the recommended option. Input was also invited on two potential treatments for the intersection of Grafton and Bridge streets. After considering community input and the outcomes of investigations, Option B intersection treatment was chosen. This option involves a minor realignment of Grafton Street to Richmond Street. All the community feedback received was summarised into a Community Feedback Report, available on the project documents page.

Following the community display further technical and environmental studies were carried out on the recommended option including geotechnical and field investigations, and noise monitoring.

The preferred option was approved by the Minister for Roads in 2014.

An official sod turning ceremony was held on 11 July 2016 to mark the start of major construction work for the new Sportsmans Creek Bridge at Lawrence

Delaney Civil Pty Ltd was awarded the contract to build the new bridge.

See the project process flowchart.

Bridges for the Bush initiative

The new Sportsmans Creek bridge is part of the Bridges for the Bush initiative - a NSW Government commitment to improving road freight productivity by replacing or upgrading bridges throughout regional New South Wales.

Roads and Maritime has developed a Timber Truss Bridge Conversation Strategy which allows for heritage preservation at a state-wide level. The Strategy retains the Briner bridge, which crosses the Upper Coldstream River about 20 kilometres from Ulmarra on the Ulmarra to Tucabia Road, and permits the demolition of the existing Sportsmans Creek bridge, replacing it with a new structure. This ensures that an example of a Dare Truss bridge is retained within the Clarence Valley Council local government area into the future.

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