Wet bridge dan­ger­ous

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By HARKAN­WAL SINGH

Flood­ing on the Man­gawhero Bridge could re­sult in a se­ri­ous crash un­less the New Zealand Trans­port Agency acts quickly, ac­cord­ing to Mata­mata Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Daryl An­der­son.

The bridge on State High­way 24 is fre­quently flooded dur­ing heavy rain.

Mr An­der­son said when­ever it rained hard there were deep pud­dles on both ends of the bridge. ‘‘Some­one is go­ing to go head on af­ter big rain be­cause they won’t be aware of how deep the pud­dle is. It gets very deep, which will cause the car to just bang into the bridge and plane across it.’’

There is no drainage sys­tem on the bridge.

Mata­mata Com­mu­nity Board has been ask­ing the agency for a year to in­stall drainage at the ends of the bridge.

‘‘They have got it very far down list of their pri­or­i­ties of re­pairs, or changes, or up­grades.’’

Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil has writ­ten to the agency on be­half of Mata­mata Com­mu­nity Board to get a break­through.

New Zealand Trans­port Agency com­mu­ni­ca­tions and en­gage­ment se­nior ad­vi­sor Kara Flem­ing said this sit­u­a­tion was brought to their at­ten­tion by the coun­cil.

‘‘ Our con­trac­tors car­ried out veg­e­ta­tion clear­ance works around the bridge to im­prove the drainage flow, and they will con­tinue to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion.’’

How­ever, Mr An­der­son said the deep pud­dles on both ends of the bridge are mak­ing cars aqua­plane and pose a se­ri­ous risk for driv­ers.

‘‘I have videoed it out there and seen cars pretty much move across the road as they aqua­plane so it’s a real safety haz­ard,’’ said Mr An­der­son. The agency was asked a num­ber of other ques­tions but didn’t re­ply be­fore dead­line.

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