New bridge starts

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By LIBBY KIS­SICK

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.

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