Hikuwai Bailey bridge reopening tomorrow


State Highway 35 north of Tolaga Bay will reopen from 5am tomorrow (Thursday) following the removal of the cyclone-damaged Hikuwai No. 1 bridge and the sealing of the approaches to the new Bailey bridge today.

The bridge was closed for ten days from last Monday to allow the 300-tonne crane to remove the remainder of the old bridge from the river. The crane was then disassembled and taken away from site.

There will be stop/go traffic control in place for a few hours from mid-morning tomorrow for final cleanup at the worksite.

Waka Kotahi Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti System Manager Martin Colditz says the beams from the damaged bridge have now been removed from site and transported to Gisborne, where they will be recycled.

“These beams were sitting upstream from the Bailey bridge and removing them has minimised risk of damage to the Bailey bridge in future weather events.

“We want to reiterate our thanks to local communities for using the Pourau Road bypass while the closure has been in place. Their support has made it easier to get the job done quickly, safely and successfully,” says Mr Colditz.

This image shows the crane in a state of disassembly