Bridge works cause anger, disappointment in Murray Bridge community

RSL Member Duncan Emmins (Left) and RSL President Rod Harris (Right) in front of Old Murray Bridge and worksite. Photo: Sam Lowe.
RSL Member Duncan Emmins (Left) and RSL President Rod Harris (Right) in front of Old Murray Bridge and worksite. Photo: Sam Lowe.

Residents of the east side want to know how they will be compensated for increased travel times when Old Murray Bridge is reduced to single-lane traffic.

Concerns have been raised with the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) workers at a meeting at the Murray Bridge RSL.

RSL President, Rod Harris said he was worried people would not book functions to avoid crossing the single-lane bridge.

"We're only open Thursday night and Friday night, and hopefully by the time they want to come over here, most of the traffic will be almost gone," he said.

"But if we have a function, that's when it's going to affect us."

Some RSL members, such as Merv Schopp, who were at the meeting on May 12 were happy with the refurbishment works and understood that to ensure the safety of the bridge in future, the works must be done.

"Everything needs upgrading and renovations, to make it good," he said.

"I think it's a good move. It's the first bridge to cross the Murray so, it's done a hundred and something years, so I think it's probably high time it had a good face lift."

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However, others are are concerned about possible traffic chaos, and others were disappointed about the disruption.

Duncan Emmins said he was concerned about the amount of traffic that wanted to cross the bridge at certain times.

"I believe there will be times of chaos, certainly on the Bridge Street end and probably on the eastern end of the bridge too," he said.

"[Traffic] is going to be very, very awkward to manage, and manage without upsetting lots and lots of people."

East-side resident, Sharon Binney, said she was upset and disappointed at the lack of notice, having only been notified in April.

She suggested that the DIT had been unsuccessful in distributing information to all east side residents.

"I don't mind that the works are being done, I think that's great. What I do mind is the fact that it's going to be 18-months where it's going to be one lane on the bridge," she said.

"Peak hour traffic, we all have to worry about whether we're going to have to add how much extra time everyday, it's an unknown."

With works finishing in late 2023, Ms Binney said it was very inconvenient for people on the east side of the river and like previous works, delays expected to last 18-months could extend to two years

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