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Wait over as work on new bridge begins

It was shovels in the ground today as the first sod was turned on the long-awaited Sportsmans Creek Bridge in Lawrence. 

Minister for Roads Duncan Gay said the bridge will remove a significant pinch point for the large number of heavy vehicles which are too heavy to use the existing bridge. 

“The NSW Government is replacing the tired old timber bridge with a $27 million concrete structure through our Bridges for the Bush program, increasing capacity at a known bottleneck,” Mr Gay said. 

“This new connection will significantly boost freight productivity by removing a 75 kilometre detour, in particular for those trucks carrying sugarcane which, due to their weight, couldn’t use the old bridge. 

“This is long overdue - the existing bridge was built in 1912 and is 104 years old and doesn’t meet the needs of current and future traffic demand.” 

The new Sportsmans Creek Bridge is being built 100 metres upstream from the existing bridge and will connect Grafton Street and Grafton-Lawrence Road. 

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the new 175m structure will also have a shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists. 

“I know the Lawrence community is looking forward to a newer, stronger bridge which will be able to be safely used by motorists and pedestrians alike,” Mr Gulaptis said. 

“It’ll provide substantial benefits to the more than a thousand people from Lawrence and the wider community who use the route on a daily basis.” 

Sportsmans Creek Bridge is expected to be complete by mid-2018. Roads and Maritime is looking at ways to recognise the history of the existing bridge following removal. 

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