Work begins next month on repairs to the deck of the 85-year-old timber Ahaura Bridge on State Highway 7, 40km inland from Greymouth.
The NZ Transport Agency’s Regional Performance Manager Pete Connors says deterioration of the deck has required more than $15,000 to be spent on repairs in the last three months.
“This is an old, single-lane timber deck bridge with planks that are constantly moving. With heavy vehicles and other traffic virtually travelling the same track across the bridge and the movement in the planks, we have experienced on-going problems with potholes, making for a rough ride.
“The last repairs in December were designed to make the bridge safe for travel during the Christmas/New Year period, until we could get a period of better weather which would enable us to replace the deck at the southern end and re-seal the complete deck with a fabric and chip seal.”
This work will begin on Sunday 1 February and is expected to take up to five weeks to complete. It will cost about $200,000.
Most of the work will be completed at night, with the bridge being closed to all traffic from 10pm to 6am, Sunday night to Friday morning. There will be a detour from Ikamatua, along Atarau Road and Taylorville-Blackball Road to Stillwater, adding about 5kms to each journey.
Mr Connors says some work will need to be carried out during the day, with on-site preparation work expected to get underway next Monday (19 September). “This will result in some minor delays.”
The Transport Agency apologises for any inconvenience caused by the work.
Long-term replacement of the structure is being planned and expected to be in the next five to 10 years.
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