A bridge too nar­row

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By KA­T­RINA LINTONBON

mata­mata.ed­i­tor@wrcn.co.nz 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.’’

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