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Weight restrictions ahead for two west Waikato bridges

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Two state highway bridges in west Waikato will have weight restrictions introduced for heavy vehicles from 1 November 2021 to help keep them safe for the people who use them.

The Kopaki rail overbridge on State Highway 30 will be restricted to vehicles under 6 tonnes and the Mangaotama Stream bridge on State Highway 39 will be restricted to vehicles that are less than 50 per cent of Class 1.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency acknowledges weight restrictions are inconvenient for trucks, however the safety of all traffic using these routes has to be the main priority, says Waikato System Manager Cara Lauder.

“We’d like to thank the freight industry for playing their part to ensure these bridges remain safe for light vehicles to use,” Ms Lauder says.

The Mangaotama Stream bridge, two kilometres south of Ngahinapouri on SH39, needs a new deck and beams. A project to replace these was unsuccessfully tendered earlier this year and will be retendered once funding is reconfirmed.

The exact weight in tonnes of the Mangaotama restriction will vary between vehicles, depending on size and axle configuration, refer to the table below.

The recommended detour for vehicles over 50 per cent of Class 1 travelling between Otorohanga and north of Hamilton is State Highway 3 and State Highway 1 through Te Awamutu and Hamilton.

A detour is available at the bridge for local heavy traffic using Meadway Road, Hams Road, Forkert Road and Ngahinapouri Road. This detour is not advised for through traffic as it is narrow with single lane bridges.

The timber Kopaki rail overbridge, about 23 km south of Te Kuiti on SH30, is currently restricted to 80 per cent of Class 1. However a further restriction is required to ensure it can remain open to light traffic while the replacement bridge is under construction. The new bridge, which will be able to be used by all heavy traffic, will be complete in 2023.

Trucks travelling between Te Kuiti and Maniaiti/Benneydale will need to use the existing heavy traffic bypass of State Highway 4 and Kopaki Road.

The school bus which travels to and from Te Kuiti each day has been granted an exemption to keep using the bridge.

Waka Kotahi has a regular programme of bridge inspections across New Zealand to ensure all structures on the state highway network remain safe to use. 

Name of Road

Name of bridge

Mass limits

Maximum speed limit (km/h)

Axle set mass limit

Gross mass (maximum sum of axle mass)

SH30

Kopaki Rail Overbridge

N/A

6000kg

10

SH39

Mangaotama Stream Bridge

Tandem: 7.5T

2 axles: 8T

3 axles: 11T

50

Tri: 9T

4 axles: 13T

5 axles: 16T

Quad: 10T

6 axles: 18T

7 axles: 20T

8 axles: 22T

9 axles: 25T

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