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Construction start confirmed for new Waitaki Bridges


11 September 2012


NZ Transport Agency – Southern region


Construction start confirmed for new Waitaki Bridges

The NZ Transport Agency has confirmed that construction of the replacement Waitaki Bridges on State Highway 82 at Kurow will get underway early next year, with work on site expected to commence in January 2013.

NZTA’s Southern Regional Director Jim Harland said with the release of the 2012-15 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) last week, the agency could now confirm that funding for the $17 million project will be available immediately, allowing contractor Macdow to finalise a construction programme and order materials in time for work to begin in early 2013.

“This will be welcome news for the region, as the new bridges will increase the security and resilience of this key route. It will also bring an end to a period of uncertainty for the Kurow community, and the NZTA appreciates the patience of local residents and businesses who have been waiting to hear this news.”

Mr Harland said the two 128 year-old single lane bridges across the Waitaki River were originally built as railway bridges and had reached the end of their serviceable lives.

With the funding made available through the NLTP, the replacement project would provide two modern two-lane bridges over the river, linking State Highway 82 with Kurow, on the south bank, and Hakataramea on the north bank.

Mr Harland said the new bridges will provide a dependable alternative route if the State Highway 1 Waitaki River Bridge is closed. SH 82 offers the only viable alternative route to SH1 for motorists to reach destinations north and south of the Waitaki River.

“The new bridges will also improve safety by providing a new barrier-separated pathway for cyclists and pedestrians, ensure that that the communities of Kurow and the Hakataramea Valley remain connected, and increase capacity for over-sized vehicles, such as agricultural machinery and freight, to use SH82 rather than detour to use SH1.”

Mr Harland said all the necessary land and resource consents needed to build the new bridges have been secured. Construction of the new bridges is expected to take around 18 months, with completion in mid 2014.

The Waitaki Bridge replacement project is part of a $1 billion programme of investment in Canterbury’s transport network as part of the 2012-15 NLTP.

ENDS

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