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Transport Agency avoids significant closure of Motu Bridge

14 March 2014

Transport Agency finds way to avoid significant closure of Motu Bridge on SH2

The NZ Transport Agency says a significant closure of the Motu Bridge between Gisborne and Opotiki on State Highway 2 early next month has been avoided thanks to a system that will enable them to undertake strengthening and maintenance work on the one lane bridge, while keeping it open to traffic.

Transport Agency’s Highways Manager, Chuck Dowdell says a long term closure of the bridge was on the cards, which would have caused significant issues for transport operators, residents and visitors.

“We were looking at a couple of three day closures over a span of two weeks. Thankfully our contractor has come up with a jacking system which allows us to keep the bridge open with only some short delays expected,” says Mr Dowdell.

He says the short delays of no more than 1 hour are expected to occur on four days in April to allow the contractor to jack the bridge.

“The exact days of the short closures will be communicated to the public closer to the time, as it will depend on the progress contractors make throughout the work.”

From 17 March signs will go up to provide advance warning of this work starting in April. Initially the site will be under speed restriction as workers prepare the bridge and drivers are asked to please slow down when going over the bridge.

Mr Dowdell says the Transport Agency are grateful to the public for their patience while this important work is underway.

This work is expected to be completed by the end of April says Mr Dowdell.

He says this work forms part of a national programme by the Transport Agency aimed at opening up this section of State Highway 2 as a 50 Max route between Gisborne and Opotiki.

“50 Max vehicles enable more freight to be carried per trip, therefore reducing the number of trips needed, which improves productivity and increases freight volumes. The reduction in travel offers significant commercial advantages – including lower vehicle operating costs, driver hours and fuel – as well as safety benefits from the reduced crash risk that fewer truck trips provide.”

ENDS

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