Wet bridge dangerous
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.