New bridge two years off

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By MATHEW GROCOTT

The 50kmh speed limit over the Ati­a­muri Bridge will re­main for an­other two years.

The speed re­stric­tion is in place to pro­tect the bridge on state high­way one while a re­place­ment is built along­side.

The New Zealand Trans­port Agency is seek­ing re­source con­sent for the bridge, ne­go­ti­at­ing the pur­chase of land needed for the project and work­ing on the de­sign of the new bridge be­tween Toko­roa and Taupo which HEB Con­struc­tion will build.

Work is due to start in the sec­ond half of this year. Con­struc­tion is ex­pected to take about 18 months.

The 50kmh speed limit will re­main un­til the new bridge is opened. It was in­tro­duced in 2009 along with a weight re­stric­tion af­ter the trans­port agency de­tected struc­tural is­sues.

The lower speed limit was in­stalled to help pre­vent fur­ther de­te­ri­o­ra­tion to the bridge.

The agency said they in­spected the bridge ev­ery three months and re­ported no fur­ther de­te­ri­o­ra­tion since re­stric­tions were im­posed.

NZTA state high­way man­ager Kaye Clark said the speed and weight re­stric­tions re­duced the load­ing im­pact on the 50-year-old bridge.

‘‘NZTA has im­ple­mented a proac­tive mon­i­tor­ing pro­gramme for the Ati­a­muri Bridge which en­sures that main­te­nance work is car­ried out as and when it’s needed,’’ Mrs Clarke said.

‘‘ This main­te­nance pro­gramme, in con­junc­tion with the re­stric­tions, en­sures that the bridge stays safe and oper- ational un­til re­placed.’’

The new bridge will be about 60 me­tres up­stream from the ex­ist­ing bridge and will have a wider car­riage­way of two 3.5m lanes and 1.5m shoul­ders.

It will also ac­com­mo­date pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists.

The project also in­cludes a new north­bound pass­ing lane and the re­align­ment of the ap­proach road, which will re­move sev­eral low-speed curves and en­able the in­ter­sec­tion with state high­way 30 to be up­graded.




GO SLOW: The 50kmh speed limit over the Ati­a­muri Bridge will be in place for an­other two years.

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