Kyogle farmer's bridge plea: 'Save our grandkids' lives'
THE safety of a new bridge sparked fiery debate at this week's Kyogle Council meeting, with one councillor calling for construction to be suspended.
During an explosive public access presentation on Tuesday night, cattle farmer Jim Ferris voiced his concerns about Lynch's Creek Bridge, stating he firmly believed the bridge should have a dual lane for safety reasons.
"Save our grandkids' lives by putting double lane bridges in there,” Mr Ferris said.
Following the presentation, Cr Lindsay Passfield moved a motion to suspend operations on the bridge, so councillors could better discuss the implications of making the bridge dual lane.
Director of assets and infrastructure Tony Lickiss gave a detailed response.
"We look at the traffic volumes and the generating potential of that road and come to the determination of whether it's warranted,” he said.
"You do not have the traffic volumes to warrant a dual lane. In three months' time you will have a bridge there complete, done, finished.”
But Mr Ferris said the council was "dead wrong” and stormed out of the meeting.
Mr Lickiss said it would cost the council about $5000 a day to halt works, and the work already completed had cost between $100,000 to $150,000.
The majority of councillors carried a foreshadowed motion by Cr Kylie Thomas, for better safety warnings be implemented for motorists approaching Lynch's Creek Bridge.
The debate led Cr Passfield to withdraw his motion.
Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland said she had met with Mr Ferris about the issue.
"We have 163 bridges still left to go (in the bridge renewal program),” she said.
"I don't want to go to those residents who are already a priority .. and say, well you aren't getting your bridge because a single lane bridge was made into a double lane bridge, when it's not necessary.”