Te Reinga Bridge is being assessed today to determine whether it is safe to reopen the bridge to vehicle and pedestrian access.
The bridge was closed at 2pm on Tuesday with the high levels of the Hangaroa/Ruakituri River triggering the closure as a safety precaution.
The bridge closure will remain in place until a complete assessment can take place which requires the river receding so it can be determined if there is any additional damage to the temporary design repair which is in place.
Wairoa District Council Chief Executive Kitea Tipuna confirmed further checks/calculations will take place this afternoon.
Mr Tipuna went on to say that it is disappointing that today, it was discovered the gate locks to prevent access across the bridge had been cut and taken, indicating people have used the bridge.
“Every decision made regarding the Te Reinga Bridge is based on the safety of people. We know closing the bridge is an inconvenience and would not do it unless we had to.
“It is extremely disappointing that a person or people have so little respect for the safety of themselves, or those of the Ruakituri community, by cutting and taking the locks effectively opening the bridge to everyone.
“We will be looking to see if our cameras captured footage related to the breach and urge anyone with any information to please contact the Council.
Meanwhile, our team will continue to monitor and assess the situation. Public safety is paramount, and we thank the community for their ongoing patience. Council will update the bridge status via direct messaging, Facebook posts and our website.
12 January 2023
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