Timing of bridge closure upsets some

Teviot Valley resident John Rowley stands by the Jedburgh bridge across the Clutha River, at...
Teviot Valley resident John Rowley stands by the Jedburgh bridge across the Clutha River, at Roxburgh. Photo: Simon Henderson
Repairs to Roxburgh’s Jedburgh bridge will be done as quickly as possible to minimise disruption to bridge users, Central Otago District Council (CODC) executive manager Julie Muir says.

About $750,000 will be spent strengthening the structure. Work will begin this month and is scheduled to be completed by December 7.

Roxburgh resident John Rowley said news of upcoming  closures had upset some, who realised the work was needed but would have preferred it to be put back to next winter, to avoid disruption for orchardists and their staff during the spring season.

Mr Rowley also wanted more work to be done at the Roxburgh East end of the bridge, as he said the tight turn required for trucks to enter the bridge on that side could be dangerous for other road users.

He said more trucks and bigger trucks were using the bridge, and he would like to see rock from the end of the bridge blasted away, to provide more space for turning on to the bridge.

Teviot Valley Community Board chairman Raymond Gunn and Teviot CODC councillor Stephen Jeffery agreed it was a "tight turn" on to the bridge.

They both said it would be good to have the blasting done at some stage, but realistically the cost would be such that it was unlikely to happen soon, if ever.

There would also be land access issues, as the land backing on to the rock bluff was private land, Mr Jeffery said.

They both also said closure of the bridge for parts of spring was "not ideal", but acknowledged the work needed to be done.

CODC infrastructure executive manager Julie Muir said the work was expected to begin during the week of September 17, and the bridge was expected to be closed to vehicles from October 29 to November 9.

Cyclists and pedestrians would still be able to use it while it was closed to vehicles, and Roxburgh East and Teviot roads would be accessible during that time, Ms Muir said.

Once the repairs had been completed, the bridge’s speed hump would be removed, and the weight limit on the bridge would be changed to enable vehicles complying with the 54-tonne high productivity motor vehicle loadings to use the bridge.

This would improve economic productivity for local businesses and transport companies that used the route, reduce noise and reduce damage to fruit being transported across the bridge, Ms Muir said.

"Unfortunately ... closure of the bridge to vehicles for two weeks is unavoidable. 

"By undertaking this work now the benefits of the work will be available for the summer, and the next fruit season".

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