Lawrence - Sportsman Creek new bridge project

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

Bridge over Sportsmans Creek at Lawrence

Updates and announcements

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.

Review of Environmental Factors for the removal of the existing bridge

The public display period on the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for the removal of the existing bridge has closed. We are reviewing the submissions and feedback received and will respond to each in a submissions report that will be available to the community in early 2017.

Construction work and traffic changes

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 (PDF, 61.1Kb) for more information.

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.

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 (PDF, 61Kb).

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.

Next steps

We are reviewing the submissions received from displaying the Review of Environmental Factors for removal of the existing Sportsmans Creek Bridge and compiling a submissions report for community information.

We are planning to have the REF finalised and project approval for removal of the existing bridge to be achieved in early 2017.

Removal of the existing bridge will be carried out following determination of the REF and completion of the new bridge.

Construction of the new bridge is underway. Working hours are Mondays to Fridays between 7am and 6pm and possibly Saturdays between 8am and 1pm as required, weather permitting.

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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