NZTA aiming for construction start on new Waitaki Bridges next year


The New Zealand Transport Agency is anticipating a 2012 construction start for replacement bridges on SH82 over the Waitaki River at Kurow.

NZTA Regional Director Southern Jim Harland says work is progressing well on refining the design and finalising cost estimates for the replacement bridges, with resource consents applied for and designations granted. Mr Harland said once the cost estimate is finalised funding approval for detailed design and construction of the new bridges would be sought.

"By the end of this year we expect that costs will have been agreed and all the necessary consents will be in place for the new bridges. The NZTA has included construction funding for the replacement bridges in the state highway programme for submission to the 2012/15 Canterbury Regional Land Transport Programme, with the intention of including the project in our 2012/15 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). All things going to plan construction should start next year and be completed by 2014/15."

"The NZTA understands the importance of this route and we are doing everything possible to create a solution which will provide a long-term, strong and reliable connection for the communities of the Waitaki Valley."

In the meantime Mr Harland said work would continue to ensure the safety of the existing bridges, with strengthening work on one of the northern bridge piers getting underway next week.

The strengthening work is needed to repair damage caused by scouring from recent high river flows, and would begin on Monday September 19. Regular monitoring of the pier has been carried out since the damage occurred, to ensure there is no risk to public safety.

The strengthening work will require contractors to be on the bridge for up to five weeks, with closures up to a maximum of 10 minutes at a time in place from 9:00 a.m. — noon and 1:00 — 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 — 5:00 p.m. Closures will be limited as far as practicable by doing the main work from beneath the bridge itself.

Mr Harland said the strengthening work was expected to be completed by 21 October.