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Early work to start on new $13m Sportsman Creek bridge at Lawrence

Early work will start soon on the new Sportsmans Creek bridge at Lawrence after the release of the project’s Review of Environmental Factors (REF), Clarence MP, Chris Gulaptis has announced.

Mr Gulaptis said the replacement of the bridge is part of the Bridges for the Bush initiative which aims to improve freight access by replacing or upgrading 17 bridges to remove freight pinch points or bottlenecks on the state road network and improve the safety and reliability of some old bridge structures.

“Sportsmans Creek Bridge was built in 1911 and is just 5.5 metres wide restricting oversized traffic to one lane,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“Surrounding agricultural businesses rely on the existing bridge for haulage requirements but it cannot be safely upgraded to allow for future traffic flows.

“About 40,000 tonnes of cane is currently transported across the bridge each harvest season.

“Higher Mass Limit vehicles currently must take a detour of 75 kilometres because the bridge is not suitable for very large vehicles.”

Mr Gulaptis said the REF details mitigation measures which will be used to minimise impact on the environment while the new bridge is built.

“The REF also explains how a new bridge will improve local traffic flow and road safety.

“The new bridge will also reduce future maintenance costs.”

Mr Gulaptis said early work will be carried out while the detailed design for the new bridge is finalised.

“Work will include power line relocation, site investigations to inform the detailed design of the new bridge and demolition of the building at the end of Grafton Street,” he said.

“Major work on the new bridge will then start early next year.

“When the bridge is completed the old Sportsmans Creek Bridge will be removed.

“A second REF is being prepared for the removal of the existing Sportmans Creek Bridge which will examine options to recognise the history of the existing bridge once it is removed.”

The Review of Environmental Factors is now available on the Roads and Maritime Services website www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roadprojects

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