Initial report advises bridge rebuild
The Mangaweka Bridge, which has provided the connection between the Rangitikei and Manawatu districts for 113 years, is set for an estimated $8 million rebuild, according to a report.
But the original bridge won’t be demolished, instead retained and used as a pedestrian and cycle bridge.
At its Assets and Infrastructure Committee meeting on July 13, the Rangitikei District Council stated an indicative business case had been completed.
That report recommended a full rebuild as the preferred option, about 40 metres downstream.
It also proposed keeping the original bridge, which would include regular maintenance costs to carry out minor repairs. This is estimated to come at a cost of $500,000 to $900,000.
Other options looked at involved demolishing and decommissioning it.
The project will now advance to the next stage - a detailed business case and design - which would include hydrological and geotechnical investigations.
The bridge spans across the upper Rangitikei River one kilometre east off State Highway 1 near Mangaweka.
It was originally built in 1904 as a class two bridge with a weight capacity of 30,000 kilograms, but exceeded its design life after 100 years.
The bridge has significant heritage value and is the only remaining road bridge of its kind in the country.
Plans to build a 53 to 80-tonne capacity bridge, with a 100-year expected lifespan, will cost the Manawatu and Rangitikei District Councils $8m to $10m.
The bridge was closed from October 5 to 20, 2016, to replace 7 metres of timber deck at both ends of the bridge on Ruahine Rd after concerns it was unsafe.
After many years of service carrying everything from tourists to agricultural machinery the decking timber at each end is fatigued.
At the time engineer Jim Mestyanek said the bridge required either maintenance, component renewals or a full scale replacement.
The original bridge has significant heritage value and is the only remaining road bridge of its kind in the country, however, its weight restriction towards the end of its life was 6000kg due to the weakened deck timbers.
The Mangaweka Bridge on Ruahine Road will get an estimated $8 million rebuild.