The NZ Transport Agency says work on the West Coast’s new Taramakau Bridge project, on State Highway 6 between Greymouth and Kumara Junction, is progressing well.
The project will see a new two-lane bridge built downstream(external link) of the existing single lane, rail/road Taramakau Bridge, a section of highway realigned, and an overpass built to take highway traffic over the railway line. A cycle and pedestrian path will also be constructed.
Transport Agency Highways Manager Colin Knaggs says people will start to notice big changes over the next few weeks as work on the project ramps up.
“Work on the new Taramakau Bridge project is progressing really well. A work site has been established and fenced off, work on the cycling and walking link is underway, and permanent sediment control ponds are in place to treat any water runoff from site,” Mr Knaggs says.
“Major earthworks to stabilise and strengthen the ground on either side of the site of the new bridge have also been carried out in preparation for the bridge approaches to be constructed, and the contractor is getting ready to build a temporary staging structure across the Taramakau River.
“This will be used as a base to build the new bridge from. A 180 tonne crane will be used to construct the temporary structure, with work expected to start in the next few weeks.”
Mr Knaggs says piling work will get underway once the temporary structure is in place.
“This work will see steel casings driven into the riverbed to a 30 metre depth. Pre-constructed bridge columns will then be connected into the piles in order to complete work in the riverbed between the regular flood events.
“The new two-lane Taramakau Bridge is a long awaited project for the West Coast that will provide significant improvements for travellers in terms of safety, travel times and journey experience. We know people will be excited to see it take shape.”
There will be a lot of trucks entering and exiting the site over the next few months and people are advised to drive with extra care and attention.
Work started on the Government Accelerated Regional Roading(external link) project in December 2016. The project is expected to be finished by the end of 2018.
The existing bridge will remain in place and will be used solely as a rail bridge. The clip-on cycle and walking bridge will be installed at another yet to be determined site.