Repairs done by mid-May

Essential deck repair work on the Kawarau Falls Bridge will not be completed until about May 16.

The work on the bridge, which joins Frankton and Kelvin Heights, began last month and required partial night-time closures between 11pm and 6am Sundays to Fridays, excluding public holidays.

New Zealand Transport Agency senior network manager John Jarvis said the delays were caused by the ''unpredictable nature of the work''.

''Our contractor has been doing a top-quality job on the replacement boards to about 35% of the bridge, to give bridge users an improved ride ahead of the new ski season.''

He said the repairs, which would cost about $150,000, were part of ongoing maintenance resulting in a ''smoother ride'' and reduced ''rattle and clatter'' from the decking.

Earlier this month, the Queenstown Times reported almost half a million dollars had been spent on repairs to the bridge over the past 10 years, most of it on replacing the one-lane bridge's running boards.

During the night-time closures, the bridge would be open for traffic for 10-minute periods on the hour.