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Another milestone for Expressway as Otaihanga Bridge takes shape

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The Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway has reached another new milestone, with the Otaihanga Bridge taking shape over Otaihanga Road.

NZ Transport Agency Acting Highways Manager Neil Walker says the first bridge beams were placed last week on the Otaihanga Bridge. This means motorists will now, for the first time, be driving under one of the new bridges.

Mr Walker says after a year and a half of construction, locals are really starting to see the Expressway take shape before their eyes.

“This is the first of the project’s eighteen bridges to have its beams put in place. And the crews are only warming up -  over the next year, people are going to see some stunning progress on the other bridges across the project.”

“What this means is the creation of jobs as we seek more hands on deck to get the job done.”

Construction manager Alan Orange says the Alliance have pioneered some really smart design and construction to handle the risk of a major earthquake on Kapiti’s liquefaction-prone ground. The foundations alone for Otaihanga Bridge include 780m of steel H-Piles and over 6000 tonne of concrete piles. Put simply – it’s built to last.

He also praises the dedication of the Kapiti workforce, which has risen to the occasion.

“Construction has also been a real local affair, which has been really heartening. Goodmans have moved 3,500 cubic metres of earthworks, using ingenious world-first technology. The twenty-two hollow core beams cast in Otaki have three tonnes of steel in them and weigh up to 40 tonne  - 880 tonnes of beams in total. And the exposed aggregate, concrete face panels were cast in Ohau. All this requires a lot of work – and has resulted in new jobs being created on a weekly basis as we ramp things up.”

“One of the biggest challenges for the team in meeting this major milestone has been getting the precast beams right. Because it’s the first bridge to be constructed, the Otaki yard were working with a brand new mould and a new crew, and they have really hit the ground running.”

Photos of the bridge beams being placed can be found here(external link).

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