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SH6 Taramaku road-rail bridge upgrade preparations gathermomentum

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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) says some trucks may be affected by the temporary narrowing of the Taramakau road-rail bridge carriageway on SH6 south of Greymouth this week, to allow scaffolding to be erected for major maintenance works needed at the bridge.

This joint Kiwirail/ NZTA project involves abrasive blasting, structural repairs and pier strengthening and repainting to the entire structure. The work is expected to take approximately 12 months to complete. Scaffolding will encase the bridge for much of this time, enabling minimal disruption to road users. This single lane bridge is one of the busiest on the West Coast, carrying over 4,000 vehicles a day.

NZTA West Coast Area Manager Mark Pinner has said that we need to reduce carriageway width through the bridge by approximately 400mm to 3.5 metres, so that boarding can be erected on the inside of the bridge. The boarding will enable work to proceed with road traffic still using the bridge. This ensures work is carried out with the minimum of disruption for a high proportion of bridge users.

“We expect the majority of trucks will not have an issue with the 400mm reduction in the bridge carriageway. A detour is available for trucks that are too wide to use the narrower carriageway. Trucks in this category driving between the west and east coasts (SH 73) from Greymouth and north of Greymouth can detour via SH7to Stillwater then via Moana to Jacksons and SH 73. This should only add about 10 minute to their travel time.

Mr Pinner said those travelling between Greymouth and Hokitika face a longer detour of around 80km via SH7 (Stillwater) through Moana to Jacksons and SH 73 to Kumara Junction.  The NZTA is talking to a number of truck operators that may be affected.

Some overnight closures will be required and key road users will be told about these in time for suitable alternative arrangements to be made. Periodic access is expected to be maintained at these times. 

There are also plans to hold an open day where the haulage industry can find out more about this project. The timing of this event is expected to be confirmed in the next week or two.

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