The NZ Transport Agency has approved funding for the Timaru District Council to widen the Factory Road bridge over the Orari River, near Temuka.
The single-lane 1960 bridge will be widened to two lanes at a cost of $3.29 million, of which the Transport Agency will provide $2.07 million under the Funding Assistance Rate (FAR).
"This work will greatly improve access along this section of the road, particularly for milk tankers travelling to the Clandeboye Dairy Factory," says the Transport Agency's Regional Planning & Investment Manager Bruce Richards.
"Currently, use of the 173-metre long bridge is controlled by traffic lights, resulting in delays and making journey times longer than necessary."
He says up to 1400 vehicles a day travel along Factory Road during the summer months, of which 35 per cent are heavy vehicles. Factory Road is the main access for the Clandeboye Dairy Factory.
"The project will include strengthening the bridge to carry vehicles weighing up to 111 tonnes in the future. This supports the Transport Agency's priority of moving road freight on fewer vehicles which has significant economic, safety and environmental benefits."
The project to widen the Factory Road bridge is expected to be tendered next month, with work scheduled to start in May. The work will take 18 months to complete.