Workers completing the final pour on the bridge over Cudgen Creek at Kingscliff
Workers completing the final pour on the bridge over Cudgen Creek at Kingscliff Contibuted

Kingscliff Bridge is finally reopening to traffic

TWEED locals will be able to drive across Kingscliff Bridge for the first time in almost six months when it opens to traffic on Thursday morning.

The Tweed Shire Council will unveil the bridge to the public at 7am on Thursday, December 14, 10 days ahead of the Christmas deadline, with the first motorist across it to be Santa Clause at 7.15am.

Tweed Shire Council Mayor Katie Milne said the $3.5 million structure would open to the public at about 7.45am, provided the weather played its role.

The new concrete bridge has been built to carry vehicles up to 160-tonne and should last for about 100 years.

Tweed Shire Council General Manager Troy Green said it was 1.5m higher than the old one and had been linked to the pedestrian bridge.

"There's been a lot of speculation and excitement in the community for this bridge to open so council has pulled out all stops to bring the opening forward,” Mr Green said.

"I can now confirm the new bridge will be opened tomorrow. Council workers and contractors will be working this afternoon and overnight to complete sealing both road approaches and finish line marking so the bridge can be opened as early as possible for the community.

"If there is a significant heat or rain event today, the bridge will still be opened tomorrow but we may have to return to finish off the final construction tasks under traffic control at a later date.”

The traffic lanes of the new bridge are wider, at 3.1 metres each plus shoulders. The road approaches have been raised by more than a metre and widened.

Mr Green said both the traffic bridge and pedestrian bridge were now supported by a single centre pylon, rather than the three pylons that held up the old timber bridge.

Work was undertaken on the pedestrian bridge to extend the shared-user path on the southern side of the creek and the parkland on the northern side has been tidied up.

"This bridge build has been very challenging and to have it finished in five and a half months is a great achievement,” he said.

Council committed to have the new bridge open to traffic by Christmas after closing the road on June 27, 2016.

Initially the council's schedule was to have the bridge completed in February 2017. However, in response to community feedback, it then promised to have it ready by Christmas.

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