The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) says the overnight closure put in place last night on the Waitaki Bridges on State Highway (SH82) near Kurow will be extended until at least Monday (14 November).
The 8pm to 7am closures have been put in place following scouring at one of the bridge piers, and apply to both vehicular traffic and pedestrians.
NZTA Highways Operation Manager Peter Connors says a detailed inspection of the pier this morning shows it remains solid and the bridge was re-opened just after 7am, but a watch is being kept on a pile just downstream. Both the pier and pile will be monitored over the next few days to see whether the scouring back fills with gravel from the river.
“If this does not occur there is a possibility of having to under pin the pier. Similar work was successfully carried out recently on a nearby pier.”
Mr Connors says while continuous monitoring of the pier and pile is being carried out, closing the bridges at night is a necessary precaution because it is difficult to detect any changes in the scouring in the hours of darkness.
Emergency services have been notified, and will be making alternative access arrangements in the event of an emergency.
Mr Connors said the NZTA was conscious of the importance of the bridges to the community, and he thanked residents for their patience while the closures were in place.