Residents push for new bridge
By PETER CATON
A BID to shelve planning for a $13.5 million bridge across the Tweed River at Murwillumbah has riled residents who say increasing traffic threatens to choke the town heart.
Residents plan a show of force at next week's Tweed Shire Council meeting to convince administrators of the need for the new river crossing, upstream from the current bridge.
Council engineers are understood to have recommended the bridge is simply too expensive.
Instead they recommended alternatives including a northern ring road along the Rous River, channelling traffic to Cane Road and the Condong Bridge.
Murwillumbah Residents Association was told at its meeting on Monday night council engineers rejected the new bridge option even though it appeared to be favoured by the public.
Association secretary Diana Eriksen yesterday said engineers had told her "they thought that was just too expensive and wouldn't be justified for another 20 years". "They said it would leave council with an eight or nine million dollar liability if they built it in the short term".
However Mrs Eriksen said the association believed the council should budget for the bridge now with a view to building it as soon as possible.
Members of the association and other residents will address the administrators on Tuesday.
Acting chief engineer Patrick Knight confirmed he had granted the residents' association a briefing because they had been involved in putting forward proposals for dealing with Murwillumbah's increasing traffic.