Bailey bridge parts arriving

The State Highway 6 bridge over the Waiho River. Photo: Wayne Costello/Doc
The State Highway 6 bridge over the Waiho River. Photo: Wayne Costello/Doc
The piers for the Waiho (Waiau) bridge at Franz Josef Glacier have come through the flood well, and the first trucks with replacement parts are in town.

New Zealand Transport Agency manager Pete Connors said it had scoured the country for Bailey bridge components.

At least 16 truckloads of material started heading to Franz Josef via the Haast Pass yesterday, though they were not travelling in convoy.

Major embankment and rock protection work started yesterday, particularly on the north side damaged in this week's big storm.

Piling and installing the new pier on the north side will begin next week.

New abutments (where the bank joins the bridge) will be built at both sides.

The remaining pieces of bridge span will be cut off and parts recycled if possible.

Elsewhere, the clean-up continues.

In Haast, efforts by NZ Energy to get the hydro scheme repaired were continuing with no timeframe.

"We are trying to clear the intake," NZ Energy's operations manager David Inch said.

"There are many thousands of cubic metres of gravel."

As the town dragged into its fourth day without power, residents were struggling.

Nolene Harvey said the town's only supermarket closed yesterday morning after its generator failed, effectively stopping the food supply, while sewage pumping was also failing.

"We have had the power out but we haven't had it out for so long. You learn to accept it but not like this."

In Westland, the district council estimates Hans Bay (Dorothy Falls) to Kokatahi Road will be shut for repairs for about a month.

At Milltown Rd the Lansburgh Bridge abutments were washed out, which means a two-week repair job.

The West Coast Regional Council is conducting temporary engineering repairs to cut off the channels flooding the Franz Josef airstrip, and protect properties on the south bank of the Waiho River.

It will continue discussions with all stakeholders as to the long-term protection of the community.

At the glaciers, operators were trying to get the word out that they are open for business. An advertising campaign starts tomorrow.


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