NZTA should heed those who know

Matamata Chronicle - - News/opinion -

I wish to add my voice to the ca­coph­ony of voices that are raised about the state of the Man­gawhero Bridge.

Our fam­ily and our­selves have been cross­ing this bridge numer­ous times daily for 47 years and have ex­pe­ri­enced, or been in­volved in, many sce­nar­ios of near misses.

So far, no-one has pointed out that fre­quently dur­ing pe­ri­ods of strong wind, the poplar trees drop limbs from above.

On one such day, as I crossed the bridge, quite a large branch dropped on our car.

It hit the wind­screen first (not break­ing it thank­fully) and then it bounced up on to the roof.

A dent re­sulted which needed to be at­tended to by a panel beater.

On an­other oc­ca­sion a branch dropped but for­tu­nately just missed our car.

Into this mix, if a per­son was pass­ing an­other ve­hi­cle on the bridge, with de­bris fall­ing at the same time, the re­sult would be very un­help­ful.

Over the years, trucks us­ing the bridge have in­creased in size and num­ber.

Ve­hi­cle drivers also (will­ingly or un­will­ingly) gain speed be­cause the bridge is in a dip, so it is the ex­cep­tion rather than the rule that peo­ple ne­go­ti­ate the bridge at a speed that is ap­pro­pri­ate.

I have noted also, that of­ten ap­proach­ing ve­hi­cles are on or over the cen­tre line.

With a nar­row bridge, there is ab­so­lutely no room to take any eva­sive ac­tion.

In my opin­ion the bridge needs wi­den­ing.

What will it take for the New Zealand Trans­port Agency to ac­tion the con­cern of the peo­ple from the area who know and ex­pe­ri­ence this sub-stan­dard bridge daily?

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