An update on the flooding situation in Canterbury.
The Ashburton River/ Hakatere Bridge on SH1 reopens for light traffic at 10 pm tonight, 1 June.* The bridge will have two-way traffic, restricted to 30 km/ hour in each direction.
The bridge was closed this morning after drivers reported slumping on the deck at the Ashburton end. This evening it was load tested using a crane and 14 tonne weights by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
“The damaged pier, which sunk around 150mm during the recent one-in-100-year floods, is stable, based on the monitoring data received tonight,” says Pete Connors, System Manager for Waka Kotahi.
“Based on these results under load testing pressure each lane, the bridge can take light traffic,” he says.
Mr Connors thanked all local people and regular users of the bridge for their patience while this essential, precautionary load-testing was undertaken. He urged people to take it slowly on not just this bridge but local roads in coming days.
“Many roads will need patching and repairs after being under water and damaged by debris for 48 hours. There will be temporary speed limits in several places around the Canterbury region while crews catch up with that work.”
There is no access for pedestrians or cyclists at this stage.
Load testing for heavier traffic (trucks) will be underway on Wednesday, 2 June, and there will be a late morning to early afternoon bridge closure involved. This will be 10 am to 2 pm.
“Waka Kotahi bridge engineers are working on the longer-term solutions for this bridge’s pier and we will keep the community informed as that is developed,” says Mr Connors.
For local road details for journeys that do not involve the Ashburton River/ Hakatere Bridge, please check the links in red at the top of the Waka Kotahi page https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic
There are just two highway closures in place in Canterbury tonight:
Aiming to reopen late Thursday.
With a short, local road detour signposted in place
All other state highways in Canterbury are now open, albeit with advice to take care and slow down as flooding debris is being cleared away today and this week.
*Light vehicles generally weigh less than 3.5 tonnes and are mostly driven by Class 1 driver licence holders. Freight vehicles/trucks need to use alternate routes to get around Ashburton tonight and tomorrow until further load testing on Wednesday is available. Details of local roads open and maps are outlined on the Ashburton District Council’s webpage as at 8.40 pm tonight.
Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: