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First pile being driven for new Waitaki Bridges

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Work begins Monday (13 May) driving the first pile for the two new Waitaki Bridges at Kurow.

The commissioning of the piling hammer is complete and the pile casing is arriving on site today for the piling to get underway on Monday, says the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) Project Manager Steve Proud.

“Work will start Monday morning driving the first of the four piles for the smaller of the two bridges over the southern branch of the Waitaki Bridges (Kurow side). Each pile will take about three weeks to complete.”

Two new two-lane bridges are being built across the river on State Highway 82, between Kurow and Hakataramea, by the NZTA to replace the two ageing 132-year-old, single-lane wooden bridges, which have reached the end of their life.

Mr Proud says each of the piles will be 1800mm in diameter and will be driven to a depth of about 22 metres.

Driving of the 11 piles for the second bridge, on the Hakataramea side of the river, is expected to begin mid-September and be completed mid-March next year.

“During the next month, work will also be underway on site completing earthworks and scour protection.”

Following the driving of the piles, work will move to installing the bridge crossheads and abutments, structural steel and concrete decking.

The new $20.1 million bridges are part of the NZTA’s $1 billion programme of investment in Canterbury’s transport network from 2012 to 2015.

Mr Proud says the project is expected to take about 18 months to complete; the new bridges scheduled to open late 2014.

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