NO WAY OUT: South Grafton traffic at complete standstill
HOLIDAY traffic is at a complete standstill at a notorious intersection in South Grafton.
With no traffic lights, roundabout or other form of traffic control in place, motorists in Iolanthe St are being forced to wait hours to turn right onto the busy Pacific Highway.
The proximity of the Spring St intersection to the highway turnoff (about three car spaces) means there is no way out for cars caught at the back of the queue.
Traffic is currently banked up into the car park in Bunnings Warehouse as they join the queue to leave the busy South Grafton business precinct, which includes other popular businesses for holiday makers such as BCF and Supercheap Auto as well as fast food restaurants McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, Subway and Red Rooster.
John Hall was irate motorist caught in the traffic jam and furious that authorities did nothing to solve the traffic problem despite being well aware it is a significant problem during summer holidays every year.
"I'm caught up in a traffic jam and it's gridlock in South Grafton," Mr Hall said.
"I'm in the Bunnings car park and I've been here for 40 minutes and I haven't even made it to the road yet.
"There would be about 80 or 90 other cars trying to get out of the car park.
"I've called both the police and council. Police say it's council's problem and council say it's police's problem.
"It's a fiasco, and this goes on every year, so it's not like they don't know about it, but they're not doing anything about it."
A dog's breakfast would be a fair description of the well-documented Iolanthe St/Spring St/Pacific Highway intersection. A Daily Examiner poll in 2014 revealed the Iolanthe St and Spring St intersection as the worst in the Clarence Valley, with 44% of respondents labelling it the worst hotspot.
Which of the following is the Clarence Valley's worst intersection?
This poll ended on 15 August 2014.
Iolanthe St and Spring St (near Pacific Highway), South Grafton
Prince St and Oliver St, Grafton
Treelands Dr and Yamba Rd, Yamba
Prince St and Victoria St, Grafton
North St and Turf St, Grafton
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Exactly four years ago Clarence Valley mayor at the time, Richie Williamson, labelled the intersection a shocker, and at the time palmed off responsibility of the intersection to the NSW Government.
"Because it is an intersection with the Pacific Highway, it's something the RMS is dealing with," Cr Williamson said.
The RMS confirmed Iolanthe St was proposed to be upgraded as part of new Grafton Bridge project.
Works on the $185million bridge are now well underway, with the first pylons in the river and completion expected in 2019.
While difficulties in merging onto the highway from the South Grafton business precinct is a recurring theme during January holidays, when the school term begins it's the peak hour traffic jams on the existing bridge that constantly provide a headache for motorists.
- Motorists 'pull a swifty' to beat traffic congestion
- Grafton Bridge times blow out at peak hours
- Home trip south a real grind
- OUR SAY: Merging patience needed on Grafton bridge