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Traffic flowing in both directions over new Ōpaoa River bridge, Marlborough, later this week


Traffic will be flowing in both directions on Blenheim’s new SH1 Ōpaoa River Bridge later this week, when southbound traffic is switched from the old bridge onto the new alignment, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Northbound traffic was switched onto the new bridge mid-June. This further change allows work at each end of the bridge to continue safely and efficiently.

“We were pleased with how well road users responded to the last switch, and it’s exciting to see this important regional project progressing so well,” says Andrew James, Waka Kotahi System Manager.

“While the exact time and day of the switch isn’t yet confirmed, when it happens we’ll make it as easy as possible for road users, who’ll find they’re simply directed onto the new route to continue their journey.”

Drivers should be aware that traffic management and reduced temporary speed limits will remain in place as construction activities continue.

“While our crews continue to work on this important project, we’re asking drivers to keep to the temporary speed limits and take care around the site,” says Mr James.

Once both lanes have been switched onto the new bridge, work will continue on the remaining pavement and landscaping works, including preparing the old bridge for use as a walking and cycling facility.

A completion date later this year is yet to be confirmed.

When complete, the project will offer a more reliable, resilient, safer route for freight transport and travellers on State Highway 1. While the old “banana” bridge is just 5.5 metres wide, the new one is ten metres, making it much safer for truck drivers and wider vehicles.

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