Bridge 'at risk of failure' closed

The Oreti River near Dipton. Photo: Google Maps
The Oreti River near Dipton. Photo: Google Maps
A bridge has been closed in Southland after it was found to be "unsafe and at risk of failure".

The Benmore bridge, over the Oreti River near Dipton, was closed by the Southland District Council on Thursday afternoon.

“It’s a combination of age but people have abused the restrictions on the bridge, posing significant risk to Council and to road users,” council group manager services and assets Matt Russell said.

The bridge had weight and speed restrictions on it for several years and physical restrictions including bollards and sideboards to restrict the width for about two years, he said.

“The risk of failure is too great so the decision was made to close it.”

A report on the future of the bridge will go to Council early next year.

The nearest bridge is 8km to the north at Dipton East, and there is one 14km south at Centre Bush. 

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