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New Beaumont Bridge construction start expected this spring

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Work on a new bridge over the Clutha River at Beaumont, SH8, in the Clutha District, could be underway this spring.

New Beaumont Bridge web page

Artist’s impression of the old and new Beaumont bridges, SH8, inland Otago.

“Construction funding for the project is in place, and plans are well advanced to call tenders in the coming weeks to build this long awaited new two-lane bridge,” says Colin MacKay, Regional Manager Central and Lower South Island for Waka Kotahi, NZ Transport Agency.

“The current single lane bridge was built in 1887 and is one of the last wrought iron bridges left on our highway network. It forms an important link on SH8 connecting Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown. A new two-lane bridge is needed as the existing bridge is no longer suited to today’s higher traffic volumes, and the heavier trucks now using this route.”

The new two-lane bridge will be built downstream of the historic bridge, designed to handle current and expected traffic growth, including heavier trucks and meet current earthquake standards. The historic bridge will remain for pedestrians and cyclists, as a link to the popular nearby Clutha Gold walking and cycling trail.

“This is not only great news for Clutha but also the wider region,” says Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan. “It is exciting to see the growing momentum and belief from our partners in funding this critical core infrastructure. Projects like this are the building blocks to our collective bright and prosperous future and we appreciate the commitment to enabling this project to get underway.”

  • The new 195m long curved steel girder bridge will be supported by four piers, the central one located on a prominent rocky out-crop within the riverbed.
  • The deck will sit about 12 metres above the average river level.
  • Safety barriers will be fitted on the road approaches.
  • A two-metre wide path will be provided over the new bridge for pedestrians as an alternative option to using the historic bridge.
  • The bridge will cost around $20 million to build and is likely to take two years from start to opening.

Consents were issued for this project last year from the Otago Regional Council and Clutha District Council. The community’s input played a key part in influencing the location of the new bridge and the alignment of SH8, which will continue to run in front of the Beaumont Hotel.

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