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State Highway 63 Wye River bridge crash and repair, access strategy

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Following the Sunday truck crash on the Wye River bridge in the Wairau Valley, NZ Transport Agency engineers met today to inspect the damage and decide upon the repair strategy.

“Everyone using this state highway needs a safe way across the Wye River and currently the ford is providing that safe access,” says Transport Agency Earthquake Recovery Manager Steve Mutton.

“The Transport Agency will be constructing additional foundational support to the bridge deck starting from tomorrow (Tuesday, 23 May). This will allow the bridge to be used by all vehicles at 30km/hour once that work is complete. We are aiming for the end of this week to open the bridge to all traffic.

“We need to do a permanent repair to the bridge, but in the meantime, our structural engineers have confirmed that we can make it safe in the short to medium term for all traffic to use, at a low speed.

“All vehicles will continue to be directed through the ford until the additional foundation support is in place later this week.

“We thank everyone using this route for their patience over the coming few days.”

Mr Mutton says that further investigation is necessary before the final bridge repair plan is completed.

Traffic managers will be at the bridge 24/7 in coming days while the temporary work is completed and to ensure traffic in each direction is getting through safely.

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