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Contractors make good progress at Waitaki Bridges

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Good progress is being made in preparing the site at the Waitaki Bridges for drilling early next month of the first pile for the two new bridges.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) State Highway Manager Colin Knaggs says contractors McConnell Dowell Constructors have made a good start at the site, with a site compound and work area already set-up on the southern side of the river.

“Two large cranes - 100-tonne and 80-tonne - now dominate the skyline and work is underway commissioning the piling hammer to drill the first of the piles.

“Early works are also underway on the stream diversion culvert, the protection filter layer and installing the rip-rap that will form the new bridge abutment protection on the Kurow side of the new bridge.”

Mr Knaggs says the 1800mm diameter pile shells are due to arrive on site towards the end of this month and the work programme is on schedule for the first of the 22-metre-deep piles to be drilled early May.

The two ageing 132-year-old, single-lane wooden bridges that currently span the river have reached the end of their life and are being replaced by the NZTA with two new two-lane bridges.

The new $20.1 million bridges are part of the NZTA’s $1 billion programme of investment in Canterbury’s transport network from 2012 to 2015.

Mr Knaggs says the project is expected to take about 18 months to complete; the new bridges scheduled to open late 2014.

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