The deck replacement project on State Highway 2 Pekatahi Bridge is complete and the road is open today, however a detour will remain in place around the Waimana Gorge site until early next week.
The Pekatahi Bridge project was scheduled for completion in May but flooding from Cyclone Debbie swept away some of the wooden deck and damaged the bridge abutment.
SH2 Waimana Gorge was closed after a 70 metre high slip fell on the road during the same cyclone. The gorge was open shortly after the cyclone, but was closed again after ongoing heavy rain continued to bring down more debris creating a safety risk to the public.
Work will continue at the Waimana Gorge site all weekend and state highway traffic heading towards or from Opotiki should continue to use the detour route through Whakatane and Ohope.
Bay of Plenty Highways Manager, Niclas Johansson, says the Transport Agency would like to thank the community for their patience while work continued on Pekatahi Bridge.
“We would like to say a big thank you to the community for sticking with us while this important decking project was completed. We are aware of some of the effects it had on peoples’ lives but we are now pleased to announce it is open.
“We’re also working hard to open the Waimana Gorge. Unfortunately high winds have meant that the final helicopter sluicing was delayed but we hope to have the road open early next week. People should continue to use the detour through Whakatane and Ohope if they are travelling east,” Mr Johansson says.
The Pekatahi Bridge has a temporary surface until roading crews can return in the warmer months and apply the final seal.
People can check if the road is open before traveling on our website: www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link)