The NZ Transport Agency’s South Canterbury highway contracts team reopened Speechlys Bridge, State Highway 79, between Geraldine and Fairlie on Sunday afternoon at 4.30 pm. Temporary speed limits of 50km/hour are in place.
“The washout caused by the high river level in the aftermath of Cyclone Gita has been repaired to road level. The bulk of the major earthwork repairs to the road and bridge washout area are complete,” says the Transport Agency’s South Canterbury Maintenance Contracts Manager John Keenan.
“The detours were removed at the same time as the bridge reopened,” says Mr Keenan. “The remaining works this week are to complete the riverbed debris clearance and to place rock/rip rap protection to ensure future river flows don’t again scour out the embankments and bridge approaches.
“Replacement guardrail sections for both sides of the road on the east side approach will be ordered and installed over the next month.
“The road surface at the washout area will also be resealed within the next month after the new fill area has been allowed to settle and compact with traffic. Until these repairs – guardrail and sealing – are complete, the 50km/hour temporary speed limit across the bridge will remain in place for the safety of road users and workers on site.”
Thanks to all drivers for taking care around crews and slowing while this work is underway, says Mr Keenan.