NZ Transport Agency planners and engineers are meeting with the Ahaura community on Thursday this week (16 March) to go over options around the Ahaura River bridge replacement, on State Highway 7, north-east of Greymouth.
The 86-year-old bridge is built from timber and steel and its timber parts – piles, piers and beam supports – are in need of ongoing maintenance, says Simon Underwood, Projects Team Manager for the Transport Agency.
“Whilst we will continue to maintain the existing structure, it is timely to also consider options for a replacement bridge. Key to consideration of any new bridge is where and how the highway should be re-positioned,” he says.
Consultants have been engaged by the Transport Agency to undertake this initial and very early alignment options stage. If the business case is agreed to, the bridge is most likely to be replaced within the next 2018-20 Transport Agency funding period.
“We are very early on within this stage and there are no firm designs,” says Mr Underwood. “We have identified a single broad corridor or envelope of land (see aerial image above) downstream of the existing bridge with flexibility within that as to where the new bridge and highway could be located. Over the last few weeks we have written to potentially affected landowners and stakeholders, and tomorrow’s meeting is an opportunity to learn more from the community’s perspective.”
Transport Agency planners and engineers will be at the Ahaura Hall on Thursday, 16 March, between 3 pm and 7 pm and welcome anyone with an interest in the replacement bridge’s alignment.