A Labor failure - The Nationals deliver bridge to Grafton
Last week work began on the $240 million bridge for Grafton, with a barge arriving fully equipped to start work on the 525m long project.
With that 30-space car park already complete, the barge’s arrival means the pilings and large-scale construction on the Grafton Bridge will begin this week.
This is one of the most significant State Government infrastructure projects in recent times with the new overpass to operate in tandem with the existing bridge, to ensure the investment it is fit for the growing Clarence community.
“When completed, the new bridge will have two lanes but has been designed to be increased to four lanes when future traffic levels require it,” Chris Gulaptis said.
The sinking of the first pile finally brings about a promise from former Labor leader Bob Carr in 2004. However, it was a broken promise to the people of the North Coast with Labor never putting the money for the bridge on the table. It was left to Nationals and Duncan Gay, as the state’s longest-serving Roads’ Minister, to finally fund the project as part of Restart NSW – an infrastructure initiative established by the Liberals and Nationals in 2011 which guaranteed 60 per cent of the revenue from state asset sales went to projects outside of Sydney.
The fight for a new bridge was taken up by Chris when he took office in 2011.
“Labor spent years promising this bridge but abandoned these plans time and time again,” Chris said.
“The people of Grafton will never forget how Labor abandoned them and this bridge for 16 years”.
With the bridge now finally underway, Grafton is in the middle of an unprecedented investment boom, with work continuing on the Pacific Highway and the recent announcement of the new, 1,700 bed Grafton goal which will inject $560 million into the local community and create 1,100 jobs.
To follow this development, please go to http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/northern-nsw/grafton-clarence-river-crossing/index.html where you can read updates, community announcements and see 3D graphics of the project.