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Plans in place for Te Reinga Bridge

Te Reinga Bridge Rendering

Te Reinga Bridge future plans are progressing with a strategy in place to restore full access and connectivity.

Repairing the damaged Te Reinga Bridge is the chosen option, and if timeline targets are met, physical work could begin within six months.

The preferred repair option will involve adding a new pier at the mid-span of the bridge and removing both damaged piers. Underpinning of the existing abutment will be required, as well as slope stability and ground improvement work. The existing steel girders will be strengthened and painted.

This month detailed geotechnical ground improvement design will continue to be worked on as well as the continuation of the detailed structural strengthening design. Over October and November, the structural detailed substructure design will be carried out.

It is expected the project will go out to tender/procurement between December and February with construction planned to start in mid to late February 2023.

Wairoa District Council Chief Executive Kitea Tipuna said the community has been very patient over the disruptions to this vital route. “We are doing everything we can to put a permanent repair plan in place, but we need to ensure the right decisions are being made. We have a plan in place, and we will do everything we can to meet the timeline targets and provide the quickest, most resilient solution to reinstate Te Reinga Bridge to its full operating capacity.

“We are well aware of the importance of Te Reinga Bridge within our roading network and are drawing on some of the best geotechnical and structural resources from throughout the country.

“Again, to the residents impacted by the damage to the bridge, thank you for your patience. We are all looking forward to the bridge being repaired and full access restored but are mindful this will take time.”

The Te Reinga Bridge is the gateway to the Ruakituri Valley and in early April was closed to all vehicles due to significant damage, likely sustained during the extreme weather events, which saw two of the bridge piers subside and a bow in the bridge deck.

A temporary solution to stabilise the bridge saw it reopened in late May with a three-tone limit, one vehicle at a time and 10km speed restriction and under intense surveillance.

Image: An artist’s rendition of the repaired Te Reinga Bridge

7 September 2022

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