Pedestrian access on the Te Reinga Bridge could be in place by later next week.
Work on a temporary solution has involved construction on two of the bridge piers and depending on weather, the stablising work could be completed this coming weekend.
Once the temporary solution is completed and contractors have finished on site, the bridge will be load tested to ensure it has been adequately stabilised before it is opened to pedestrian access, and potentially light vehicle access.
Wairoa District Council Chief Executive Officer Kitea Tipuna said it is hoped the load testing will take place on Monday May 16/Tuesday May 17. Results of the load testing and restrictions will then be shared publicly.
Mr Tipuna reminded people that until the final load testing results are complete it is vital members of the public stay off the bridge, as it is still unstable.
“Please also stay away from the bridge construction site area, including the scaffolding under the bridge. In its current state the bridge is still very dangerous and your co-operation in respecting this safety aspect will help ensure our work can be carried out more efficiently.”
The Te Reinga Bridge was closed to all vehicles and pedestrians at the end of March due to significant structural damage involving two of the bridge piers subsiding.
Gaining pedestrian access has always been the priority and concurrently a permanent solution to repairing the bridge is also being worked on.
Meanwhile, bridge engineers have undertaken inspections on bridges on the Erepeti-Ohuka detour route with no new issues highlighted on any of the bridges. Further flooding, earthquake and geotechnical assessments are being completed on the high-risk structures to further ensure any vulnerable points are understood and mitigated accordingly.
Mr Tipuna said increased road maintenance and inspections are ongoing. It is a priority to keep this alternative route safe and accessible for all users. “We all need to be mindful that this detour route is a rural gravel road, and while we are fortunate there is an alternative route, the detour has not been designed for this increased level of traffic. We appreciate the patience, care and understanding road users are demonstrating.”
9 May 2022
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