Workers using diamond wire saws have completed a significant construction milestone on the NZ Transport Agency's Newmarket viaduct replacement project on Auckland's Southern Motorway (State Highway 1) by cutting away the final concrete segments of the old southbound lanes.
The saws powered through the old bridge cutting it into pieces which were then lowered to the ground with the help of the big blue lifting gantry, clearing the way to complete construction of the new northbound lanes in its place.
Already, 23 of its 234 segments needed for the new bridge are in position.
Northbound traffic is scheduled to move onto the new structure in the first quarter of 2012.
“We’re making great progress replacing the old viaduct while keeping open the country’s busiest section of motorway right next to construction site,” says the NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker.
The NZTA and its Alliance partners (Leighton Contractors, Fulton Hogan, VSL, URS, BECA, Tonkin & Taylor and Boffa Miskell) are constructing a new viaduct and deconstructing (removing) the old one built 1965 in stages. Southbound motorway traffic was moved off the old bridge in September 2010
“We’ve been able to construct the new viaduct because of the good support we have had from drivers,” says Mr Parker. “Drivers are travelling through a live construction zone and sometimes there’s little more than a metre separating our workers and motorway traffic.
When traffic starts using the new viaduct, the existing northbound lanes next to it will be removed.
The Newmarket Connection: Viaduct Replacement project marks the southern end of NZTA improvements to the Central Motorway Junction (CMJ) that will ease congestion, provide more travel reliability and improve safety. At the northern end of the CMJ, the first lanes of the Victoria Park Tunnel will be opened ahead of schedule in November.