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Second Waitaki Bridge opens at Kurow

Second Waitaki Bridge opens at Kurow


The Waitaki Valley community turned out in force today (Saturday 7 June) to celebrate the opening of the second and last of the two new bridges that the NZ Transport Agency has built over the Waitaki River on State Highway 82.

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean opened the bridge in a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony attended by more than 400 guests, including Waitaki District Council Mayor Gary Kircher, Waimate District Council Mayor Craig Rowley and the Transport Agency’s Southern Regional Director Jim Harland.

Mr Harland told the gathering that the opening of the 206-metre long bridge heralded a new era in road transport for the Waitaki Valley.

“These new bridges not only provide the Kurow and Hakataramea communities with a secure road link across the Waitaki River to access employment and essential services but also support economic growth in the region.

“This is a key regional and freight route. These two new bridges are capable of carrying larger and heavier freight vehicles for the more efficient and safer movement of goods, as well as providing a safe and reliable alternative route if State Highway 1 is ever closed.”

He said safety had been a priority with the project and it was great to see that both new bridges provided a barrier-separated pathway for cyclists and pedestrians.

“Not only does this enable local people to walk or cycle safely between the two communities but it also supports the tourism industry by providing a safe passageway for cyclists who want to visit the Waitaki Valley and stay a little longer to enjoy its hospitality.”

While both bridges are now open, the contractor McConnell Dowell Constructors will remain on site until early October, deconstructing the timber bridges, completing development of the road approaches to both the new bridges and sealing the new bridge deck.

“Access across the two bridges will remain single-lane until the timber bridges have been deconstructed.”

Mr Harland says by the end of this year, all the work will be completed and two spans from the old timber bridges will be permanently displayed on Kurow Island to preserve part of the area’s history.

The two new two-lane bridges, which have been built on State Highway 82, replace the two ageing 133-year-old single-lane timber bridges. The $20.1 million project is part of the Transport Agency’s $1 billion programme of investment in Canterbury’s transport network from 2012 to 2015.


Ends

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Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

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