Bridge to be replaced

The Tawanui bridge will be replaced after the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) confirmed it would help pay for a new crossing.

The bridge spans the Catlins River about 12km west of Owaka and was closed last November after an inspection revealed significant damage to the load-bearing structure.

Clutha District Council district assets manager Jules Witt said in a press release the council recently finished the design and contract documents for the replacement of the bridge, and had been waiting for final confirmation from the NZTA it would contribute 70% of the cost of the $710,000 project.

"That confirmation was provided on [October 1], which is extremely pleasing news, especially for the local community who rely on this crossing of the Catlins River," Mr Witt said.

Construction is expected to start next month and be completed by early April 2011.

The new bridge will be a single lane concrete structure with cast in-situ foundations instead of conventional driven pile foundations for the new bridge abutments.

Some beams were retained from the old bridge for the construction of a seat in Owaka.


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