The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) says flood debris trapped around about 20 piers on the Waitaki Bridges on SH82 near Kurow has now been removed.
NZTA Area Manager Colin Hey says the work that started yesterday and completed this afternoon wasn’t without its challenges. A lot of effort was needed plus a bit Kiwi ingenuity to remove three or four large tree stumps and roots that were deeply embedded in gravel at the No1 Bridge.
“These stumps and roots were finally freed late this morning using a logging machine with an extended arm that was able to reach over the sides of this bridge. The effort of tree feller’s abseiling over the sides of the bridge and a jet boat working played a great supporting role in getting this debris out of the river. There was huge relief all round when it was finally removed.”
Colin Hey says flood debris clearance work on the shorter No2 Bridge went smoothly and was cleared this afternoon. The cooperation of Meridian Energy and ECAN in keeping river flows as low as possible played a big part in getting this work completed.
The bridges were closed for short periods while this work was carried, but opened for five minutes on the hour and half hour to allow traffic through. Mr Hey thanked the local community for their patience and understanding while this vital work was carried out and said most locals understood how important it was get this debris out from the under the bridges.