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Short shift for West Coast Bailey bridge

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The Bailey bridge at Ten Mile, 16km north of Greymouth on SH6 is being temporarily shifted early next week in preparation for the refurbishing of an existing bridge that up until 14 years ago was the permanent bridge in this area.

The Bailey bridge at Ten Mile, 16km north of Greymouth on SH6 is being temporarily shifted early next week in preparation for the refurbishing of an existing bridge that up until 14 years ago was the permanent bridge in this area.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) says rock falls in 1995 posed a threat to this single lane bridge, so a Bailey Bridge was installed at a nearby site that was less vulnerable and has become the default crossing ever since.

NZTA Canterbury-West Coast Highways Manager Colin Knaggs said the Bailey bridge is now being moved a short distance upstream by two cranes to a new temporary site. Preparation works have been completed to enable the bridge to be moved as quickly as possible. The actual shifting of the bridge is expected to take 2-3 hours, and weather permitting, should take place on Monday 27 July.  The shifting of the Bailey bridge will in turn allow the former permanent bridge to be relocated to the site being vacated, probably toward the end of the year.

“Traffic will continue to use the re-located Bailey bridge until the former permanent bridge is itself re-located and refurbished. However, the existing bridge will be used by traffic for a short time while the Bailey structure is being moved to enable the route to be kept open. Temporary traffic lights will be used to ensure vehicles are not waiting near the rockfall area. Whilst the bridge is being moved there will be delays of up to 15 minutes, and the New Zealand Transport Agency asks drivers to allow extra time for their journey and to be prepared to wait.

Mr Knaggs said locating the refurbished existing bridge at a site away from the rock fall area will ensure that the risk of closure to the road is significantly reduced. The new alignment will also improve safety risk from rockfall and will improve the visibility onto the bridge. The existing permanent bridge is wider than the Bailey bridge, so this to will benefit commercial, and over dimension vehicles.

Once the existing single lane bridge is refurbished it will become the permanent bridge and the Bailey bridge will be removed from the area.   A two lane replacement bridge was considered, but could not be justified on a number of grounds including traffic volumes, journey time savings and the current crash rate.

For more information please contact:

Bob Nettleton
Regional Communications Advisor
T   DDI 03 951 3005   
 021 954 928   
F   03 964 2855
E-mail bob.nettleton@nzta.govt.nz

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