The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has approved funding of $6.6 million for a new bridge across Reid's canal on State Highway 2 near Edgecumbe.
Harry Wilson, the NZTA’s Regional Director for the Bay of Plenty, says the State Highway 2 link over Reid’s canal is an important regional freight route and a vital local community connector road. However, the 76 year old bridge has had a long, hard life and is due for replacement.
“The current bridge was damaged during the 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake and again in the June 2004 flood. It has undergone various short-term upgrades to extend its useful life since then. Its replacement will be built to withstand a one-in-1000 year earthquake.
“The new bridge has also been designed to complement Environment Bay of Plenty’s upgraded flood protection scheme. It’ll be longer and higher providing more floodway clearance and protecting the bridge from future flood damage,” says Mr Wilson.
The higher bridge means new approaches will be needed. Ramps up to 300 metres long on each side will be built, making the new bridge more than two metres higher than the existing structure. It’ll also be 3.8 metres wider, providing a safer environment for all road users.
The NZTA anticipates construction will begin mid-2011 and will take about a year to complete.