New Grafton Bridge on the home straight
16 August 2019
The new Grafton bridge has been a hive of activity this week with the final segment lifted into place almost 14 months after the first was placed in June last year.
Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis walked the span for the first time today and likened the new bridge to a Winx race.
“There’s a lot of excitement and anticipation at the beginning. The race starts and she’s back in the field and the crowd murmurs but as she hits her straps in the home straight and she hits the front with the finish line in sight, excitement reaches fever pitch,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“To see the new bridge on the home straight with the finish line in sight after a long race is just as momentous and we’re all very excited about it.”
Mr Gulaptis said the bridge now stretched around 500 metres across the Clarence River.
“All 176 of the pre-cast segments have been fitted and secured into place, forming seven of the nine bridge spans, allowing a continuous reinforced concrete box girder section to take form.
“Work will now continue over the full length of the structure to complete the bridge deck. This includes installing road and pedestrian barriers, shared path railing, expansion joints, asphalt surfacing and noise walls.
“Residents will also see work on the approaches to the bridge including installing road pavement, medians and kerbs, shared footpaths, safety barriers, landscaping, street lighting and line marking.”
“The project includes upgrading parts of the road network in Grafton and South Grafton to connect the new bridge to the existing road network,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“The new bridge will consist of two lanes but has been designed to be increased to four lanes when traffic levels require it.
“Placing the final segment for the new bridge is an important milestone for the $240 million project, delivered by the Nationals in the NSW Government.
“The bridge is a real boon for the local community being the single biggest infrastructure spend the Jacaranda city has ever seen.
“I know everyone in the local community is looking forward to seeing it opened to traffic, which is anticipated before Christmas,” he said.
Work to improve the Villiers Street roundabout is expected to be complete by the end of September, weather permitting, while the new roundabout at the intersection of the Pacific and Gwydir highways should be complete during the first half of 2020.
Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis walked the span of the new Grafton Bridge this morning. He is pictured with L-R: Clarence Valley Mayor - Cr Jim Simmons, local businessman and Grafton Chamber rep Des Harvey, Transport for NSW Senior Project Manager - Greg Nash and Fulton Hogan Construction Manager, Aidan Thompson.