New bridge starts
A $20.35 million contract for new bridge construction at Atiamuri is expected to take up to 16 months.
From now until May 2013, a 16-metre-wide crossing is to be built upstream of the currently deteriorating original bridge.
A ‘‘T’’ intersection is to be developed where State Highway 1 and State Highway 30 meet. In addition the western side of SH1 (between SH30 and Hatu Patu/ Wishing Rock) will be widened to form a 1.2km northbound passing lane.
Bulk earthwork and bridge piling will take 10 months from next January with road and pavement works not till August next year.
The bridge’s removal is estimated to take up to four months and will follow the completion of the replacement. Bridge users will be limited to a 30kmh and 50kmh speed limit during the process.
However, Atiamuri Bridge replacement manager Mathew Hills expects little traffic interference during these months.
‘‘There will be delays at different times. With major earthwork on both sides of the bridge, there will be trucks hauling stuff over. We always had the plan for both bridge lanes to be functioning even if traffic would be slow,’’ Mr Hill said.
HEB Construction Ltd was awarded the bridge deal by the New Zealand Transport Authority.
Road tolls, vehicle and driver registration and licensing costs that make up the National Land Transport Fund have funded the planned changes.
Libby Kissick is a WINTEC journalism student
REPLACEMENT: Work to construct the new Atiamuri Bridge will take several months.