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Swollen river damages Waitaki Bridges piers


High rivers flows that have damaged one of the piers on the Waitaki Bridges may potentially close the bridges for several days.

NZTA Area Manager Colin Hey says the extent of the damage meant closing the bridges was the only option. Until river levels fall, trying to get an idea of what we are dealing with is difficult.

“High river flows and some debris from last months flooding are likely to have caused scouring around the pier. It is a matter of waiting until the river drops and assessing what repairs are required. A start on that can hopefully be made tomorrow. Once completed, we can look at the options for getting the bridge operational again.

Colin Hey says we understand the closure of the bridge is a major inconvenience for road users and the local community, who face lengthy detours. These include using the bridge over the Waitaki River on State Highway 1 near Glenavy or travelling on State Highway 8 through Lake Tekapo and Fairlie. While every effort will be made to get the bridge open as quickly as possible, the safety of road users comes first.

The NZTA's contactors will be on site at the bridge while it remains closed. Plans have been put into action to make sure emergency services continue to be provided while the bridges are closed.