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Major upgrade confirmed for Waimakariri Gorge Bridge

Wednesday, October 11, 2023   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: transport, repair, traffic

A new surface will be installed on the Waimakariri Gorge Bridge as a long-term upgrade to the bridge.

Temporary repairs have been continuing on the Waimakariri Gorge Bridge over recent months, to ensure the bridge could stay open while a longer-term option has been explored jointly by Selwyn and Waimakariri District Councils.

The Waimakariri Gorge Bridge is jointly owned by the Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils. Selwyn District Council is responsible for the day-to-day inspections and maintenance of the bridge. Waka Kotahi also contributes funding to maintain and repair the bridge.

Recently we’ve carried out some short-term maintenance including repairing potholes on the bridge deck surface, installing metal plates where the timber deck is wearing and tightening the hold down bolts. These were short term repairs to make sure we kept the bridge open to all vehicles.

While this has been going on, we have been undertaking an assessment of the bridge to get a better understanding of the level of work required to repair the structure. The good news is that the main structure of the bridge is sound. However, a new replacement deck is required. The intention is to replace the bridge deck in the first half of 2024.

The volume of traffic and the number of heavy vehicles that use the bridge has increased over the years and this makes maintaining and repair options challenging. We are working together to confirm the design requirements for the new deck and to secure funding required from Waka Kotahi. Both Councils have planned for these repair costs in this financial year’s budgets.

The next steps are to design and cost the replacement deck which should be completed in November 2023. The work will then go out to tender for construction. It’s anticipated that a contractor will be appointed in early 2024 and the deck replacement work will be carried out around mid-February to April next year.

Once the design has been confirmed we will consider the best way to manage traffic movement across the bridge, while keeping contractors safe and completing the work in a timely manner. We will share the programme for the work and details around traffic management with the public before work begins.

In the interim, we will keep the additional signs, road markings and speed humps in place to help reduce speeds over the bridge. We will also continue to complete temporary repairs as and when required.

Both Councils are aware of the frustrations the issues with the bridge have caused for the wider community and that the current condition of the bridge isn’t up to standard. We appreciate your patience, and we are committed to progressing the replacement of the bridge deck quickly.

We will continue to keep you updated on progress. Please check the councils' websites and Facebook pages for more information.