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Landmark moment for Lower Hatea River Crossing

Landmark moment for Lower Hatea River Crossing

Work on the construction of the Lower Hatea River Crossing will begin on November 28 with a Maori blessing of the site, followed by the turning of the first sod.

Mayor Morris Cutforth will be hopping into the digger to turn the first sod at 9am on Monday, at the former United Carriers yard on Port Road (opposite Cobham Oval).

Due for completion in 2013, the entire project includes three roundabouts, a cycle and walkway, road link and the bridge itself. The bridge, designed by British architect Martin Knight, features a sleek lifting platform that resembles a bone fish hook or the prow of a waka, and will project 26 metres above sea level when the tide is full.

Over coming weeks initial earth works will begin to pre-load the site of the bridge on both sides of the harbour. This work is essential for the ground to settle before construction of the bridge can commence.

The bridge will cross from William Fraser Memorial Park on Pohe Island to Port Road, near the cricket grounds. In the years to come, the area will be turned into one of the country's largest new urban park developments featuring areas to walk, cycle and enjoy green, open spaces and sports.

The $29m project is a partnership between Council and the Transfield Services/McConnell Dowell Joint Venture and will be funded 50/50 by Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

"It's a real honour to be the man wielding the spade at the beginning of such a historic piece of work and I am quite awed by the whole thing," said Mayor Morris Cutforth.

"We all know about the roading benefits the bridge will bring us, but I can't help think about the other side, the people who will benefit by having family members working on this bridge in the couple of years to come. They will be able to talk about working on this historic development for the rest of their lives. It really is a great moment."

Over the next few weeks (up to Christmas)

• erosion and sediment controls will be installed

• the base will be prepared for a large pipe culvert in the drain beside Riverside Drive.

• piling for the fill ramp on the western bridge abutment (beside Port Road) will begin

• the design will be finalised.

After Christmas

• construction of the large culvert beside Riverside Drive will begin in January

• preload will be installed beside Port Road and Riverside Drive in January

• construction will commence on the Okara Drive roundabout in January

• construction of the bridge will start in February.

The amount of preload being used is about 14,000m3 in total (11,000m3 at Riverside Drive and 3,000m3 at Port Road) which equates to about 30,000 tonnes of earth. It is expected to take 12 months for the settlement to reach acceptable levels in these areas.

ENDS

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