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Providing Bailey bridges

Updated: 6 March 2015

We maintain New Zealand's civil emergency bridging stock - Bailey bridges. The Bailey bridge 'kit set' systems are ideal for use in emergency situations (such as when bridges collapse or are washed out) and as temporary structures for planned events such as roading projects and movie shoots.

Developed by the British during WWII, Bailey bridges remain a cost effective system, being versatile and relatively quick and easy to build and dismantle. With a basic component of a three-metre long truss panel, they can be configured to provide much longer spans and cater for a wide range of loads.

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Need a Bailey bridge?

We offer a complete Bailey bridge design, build, maintenance and transport service for contractors, roading agencies and private contractors. Contact us for more information about the Bailey bridge service and charges.

If you need the service urgently, please contact Nigel Lloyd on 021 729 341.

Why use a Bailey bridge?

Bailey bridges have been used around the world for the past 70 years for uses such as:

  • replacing collapsed bridges (between three-metres and 200-metres long)
  • restoring access to roads washed out in storms
  • providing cost-effective temporary structures for roading projects
  • providing minor stream crossings for movie locations and other non-emergency situations.
Bailey bridge service: before.

Bailey bridge service: before. (JPG, 55KB)

Bailey bridge service: after.

Bailey bridge service: after. (JPG, 75KB)

How long does it take to put up?

A standard bridge (30-metres long, single span) can be assembled within a week at the need arising. Longer-span bridges may take longer owing to the need to build piers to support them.


How does the Bailey bridge service work?

We have extensive experience in Bailey bridge design, construction, maintenance, dismantling and transportation. This means we can offer a prompt, efficient service at short notice - especially in emergencies - and provide a wide range of Bailey bridge options.

How much does it cost?

All hirers are required to pay for Bailey bridge transport, construction and dismantling, monthly hire and inspections. The service is run on a not-for-profit basis, with hire charges used to pay for the components' storage and maintenance. Local authorities needing to use Bailey bridges on public roads in emergencies can apply to us for financial help.

We operate a standard agreement with all hirers.

For more information

Contact us for more information about the Bailey bridge service and charges.

In emergencies

Call Nigel Lloyd at the NZ Transport Agency on 021 729 341. If Nigel is not available, please call:

  • John Reynolds, NZ Transport Agency on 03 964 2811 or 021 223 5715
  • John Patten, Downer on 06 835 5789 or 027 447 0221 (North Island only)
  • Carl Bowen-Price, Downer on 027 838 9771 (South Island only).
Bailey bridge on State Highway 38

A Bailey bridge on SH38 on the way to Lake Waikaremoana from Wairoa, Hawke's Bay. (JPG, 40KB)

The Ashhurst Bridge on Saddle Road.

The Ashhurst Bridge on Saddle Road, Manawatu in the flood of 2004. (JPG, 28KB)

Bailey bridge for the Kirkaldies Bridge.

A Bailey bridge provides an extra span to the Kirkaldies Bridge, Manawatu, where the west abutment was washed out. (JPG, 50KB)


Bailey bridge installation
Check out a video of a Bailey bridge being installed at Danseys Pass, Waitaki District

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