Kingy bridge opens to traffic
A CHORUS of cheers has marked the opening of Kingscliff's new Cudgen Creek Bridge at a public ceremony on Thursday morning.
Residents, workers and members of Tweed Shire Council came together to celebrate the occasion and to watch Santa travel first across it alongside Mayor Katie Milne.
Kingscliff retiree Pat Benstead, also known as the Yellow Lady of Kingscliff, was another on hand to witness the event. Standing in the sun alongside the road as the first convey of cars drove past, horns honking, Ms Benstead's excitement was clear.
Kingscliff's Yellow Lady has a long-held fascination with bridges, having witnessed the opening of six in the Tweed, and having learnt to swim in the shadows of the Dunbible Ck Bridge as a child.
She was born in Murwillumbah and watched her first bridge opening - Barney's Point Bridge, in 1936 - with her grandparents, and since then she admits, she's "been associated, sort of, with bridges.”
"I love this excitement that I get,” Ms Benstead said.
"And to think, they lined me up with all of the workers (for a photo); I'll live on that for a while.”
Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce president Mark Humphries was another who shared the excitement. He said the opening was a further indication the town was approaching a prosperous period.
"The business community is excited in that this will rejuvenate Kingscliff town,” he said.
"Certainly it's a sign we're open for business.”
Cr Milne said additional staff had been employed to have the bridge completed early.
"It's a wonderful Christmas present for the Kingscliff community,” she said.
"To be opened up in time and ahead of schedule; it was originally scheduled for February, but we promised the community we'd get it done by Christmas.”
Tweed Shire Council general manager Troy Green said motorists could now use the bridge but warned there remained some disruption pending. He said minor works would need to be undertaken in coming months but delays would not be substantial.