A bridge too narrow
firstname.lastname@example.org A call has been made to widen Mangawhero Bridge after a truck crashed into the side of it causing the state highway section of the road to be closed for hours.
Following a post placed on the Matamata Chronicle Facebook page alerting readers to the closure of State Highway 24, a number of comments were received from people concerned about the width of the bridge.
Truck driver Alan Pearce drives from Morrinsville to Mt Maunganui and told the Chronicle the New Zealand Transport Agency needed to pay serious attention to widening the bridge.
‘‘I have been driving trucks over that bridge for years and years. It’s definitely scary in a truck. A car and a truck can pass each other safely but two trucks can only just scrape by each other. It’s very tight,’’ he said.
‘‘If you come across a car towing a boat or a trailer it’s pretty scary. My tyres have rubbed the curb a couple of times. It just needs to be a couple of metres wider.’’
Mr Pearce said he lost a wing mirror off his truck on that bridge a number of years ago.
‘‘It’s been a problem for a long time. When you come round that corner with a 22 tonne container, it takes some stopping. It’s an accident waiting to happen and I have seen plenty.’’
NZ Transport Agency state highway manager Kaye Clark, said the Mangawhero Bridge on State Highway 24 was built in the 1930s by the local council.
‘‘ Although not as wide as current- day bridges, it is of a reasonable width for this type of bridge,’’ she said.
‘‘There has not been any history of crashes or complaints in relation to its width made to the NZTA and there are no plans to upgrade the bridge in the foreseeable future.’’