The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) advises that Narrows Bridge, which crosses the Waikato River just south of Hamilton on State Highway 21, will be reduced to one lane from next Tuesday (31 August).
The lane reduction will reduce the load on the bridge while investigations are undertaken to assess the potential impact of erosion damage on the adjacent Waikato River banks.
NZTA state highway manager Kaye Clark says, “A recent national analysis raised some concerns about the erosion of the Waikato River banks in the vicinity of the bridge. The bank erosion has been taking place over many years but has reached a point where more in-depth investigations are now warranted.”
Mrs Clark says the lane reduction is being put in place as a precautionary measure to protect the bridge from any potential damage until the NZTA confirms if and how the erosion damage has affected the bridge and what repair work may be needed.
The traffic restrictions will remain in place on the Narrows Bridge until the investigation is completed and any resulting repair works are completed.
Mrs Clark says, “We are will not be able to indicate how long the lane restriction will be in place until we assess what repair works may be required and how long they will take. The Waikato River and steep banks at this location will make any required repair work quite challenging.”
The one lane operation on the Narrows Bridge will be controlled by traffic lights and motorists using this route are advised to expect some delays.
Motorists travelling to Hamilton International Airport over Narrows Bridge will need to allow some extra time for their journey. Access to and from the airport via SH3 will be unaffected.