Design is now underway for a replacement Atiamuri Bridge on State Highway 1 between Taupo and Tokoroa.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has awarded the contract for the design and construction of the new Atiamuri Bridge to HEB Construction Ltd. The design stage, including resource consents is expected to take between 6 to 12 months, allowing construction works to start in 2011. The construction of the new bridge is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete.
Atiamuri Bridge crosses the Waikato River on the boundary between South Waikato and Taupo Districts, 39 kilometres north of Taupo. SH1 is a significant freight route with high volumes of heavy vehicles. The new bridge will be about 60 metres upstream of the current bridge. The bridge will provide a wider carriageway of two 3.5m lanes and 1.5m shoulders, and will include facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. The project also includes the realignment of the approach road, which will remove several low speed curves and enable the intersection to SH30 to be upgraded.
NZTA State Highway Manager Kaye Clark says, “Replacing the existing bridge with a stronger and wider structure will improve road safety and ensure route security. This project is a top priority for the NZTA.”
The NZTA has a permanent 50km/h speed limit in place on the existing bridge until the new bridge is constructed.
Mrs Clark says the speed restriction reduces the loading impact on the bridge, which will allow it to retain its structural integrity until it is replaced.