Fitting-out has just begun of a 48m-long barge that will be used in the construction of the US$181m Grafton Bridge’s foundations.  The barge, Maeve Anne, has made a four-day trip from Sydney ahead of an extensive project-specific fit out at Harwood Marine.

The barge will be needed for about 12 months and will be used for tasks including piling, installing segments and the movement of staff to and from the river bank.

The current bridge is already operating at capacity during peak periods and forecast traffic growth will worsen congestion problems. The new bridge will have two lanes but has been designed to be increased to four lanes when future traffic levels require it. It is expected to open to traffic in 2019.

Grafton Bridge

The arrival of the barge follows the start of work in early April on the temporary jetty on the south bank of the river and establishment of the precast yard to make the concrete elements for the bridge.

Piling work is expected to start in late May, weather permitting.