Traffic will be reduced to one lane while contractors carry out repairs to the deck of the Kawarau River Bridge on State Highway 6 between Cromwell and Queenstown next week. Photo by the NZ Transport Agency.
Strengthening work on the Kawarau River Bridge on State
Highway 6 between Cromwell and Queenstown will cause delays
for motorists next week.
NZ Transport Agency senior network manager John Jarvis said
repairs to expansion joints in the bridge's deck would begin
next Monday and continue until the following Saturday.
Traffic would be reduced to a single lane with a 10kmh speed
restriction and, although delays for motorists would be
''minimal'', vehicles over a certain weight would be unable
to use the bridge throughout the week.
Road transport operators had been advised of the
Mr Jarvis said the $1.1 million project, which began in
January, would extend the life of the 50-year-old bridge and
remove the need for restrictions on ''overweight'' vehicles
exceeding 40 tonnes.
The building boom in Queenstown in the past decade had meant
more cranes and special loads had needed to use the bridge,
but they had been subject to restrictions.
''It's a steel structure and it really isn't designed for the
21st century vehicles that go across it.
''There wasn't anything seriously wrong with the bridge, but
it would have become serious if this hadn't been addressed,''
Mr Jarvis said.
When the work was completed, the bridge would be ''like brand
Contractor Fulton Hogan had already replaced 1400 bolts and
added new structural components.
In the next two to three months, shock absorbers would be
installed at each end, and monitoring equipment attached so
the agency could collect data on how the bridge was
''We've changed the dynamics of the bridge and how it's
designed to move, so we want to keep an eye on things.''
Steel bridges were becoming less common in New Zealand, and
the project had involved two years of research and design on
how best to bring the bridge up to 21st century standards.
''It's required a lot of technical input from experts around