Work will soon start on strengthening the State Highway 1 Waitaki River Bridge, says the NZ Transport Agency.
The works on the bridge north of Oamaru, just south of Glenavy, involve seismic strengthening of the 29 pier caps and two abutments to bring them up to modern earthquake code specifications.
The Transport Agency has let a contract to Fulton Hogan Ltd, valued at $2.5 million, to strengthen the bridge.
Transport Agency Project Manager Jason Forbes says work crews could be setting up in the week of 20 March and the strengthening will be completed this year.
“During this time, single lane closures of the bridge will be required while scaffolding is installed and dismantled. While lane closures are in place, the speed will be reduced to 30km/h.”
Road users may experience some short delays, but every effort will be made by the contactor to keep these to a minimum he says.
While workers are on site the bridge may be under a 70km/hr speed restriction to ensure the safety of the contractors, says Jason Forbes. “Drivers may not realise that work is being carried out, as they may not see the crews from the bridge deck. But, we still need drivers to reduce their speeds for the safety of the crews.”
Once work has commenced the contractor will assess this risk as the speed restrictions may not be required at all times, however please allow additional time if travelling in this area.
Outside work hours, when the site is unattended, both lanes will be operational and the 100 km/h speed reinstated.
Electronic sign boards will be used to provide advanced warning of the lane closures or delays that could be expected.
“The Transport Agency appreciates people’s patience over this time,” says Mr Forbes.