A key milestone was reached this week in the construction of the new road bridge over the Clutha/Mata-Au River in Beaumont.
Colin MacKay, senior project manager for transport agency Waka Kotahi NZ, said the first of 20 steel bridge girders arrived at the State Highway 8 site yesterday.
“The first two beams left Napier on Monday and arrived on Thursday which was fine in a week of demanding weather,” Mr MacKay said.
“The 20 main girders are being precast in Napier, before the truck journey 1,200km south of Beaumont, a journey that could take up to five days. Two girders per week will be transported to site over the next few weeks.
He said another useful progress point would be reached next week when a temporary trestle over the river, which will be used to build the new bridge, was due to be completed.
He said several different components make up the bridge’s main beams, which vary in size and weight, creating spans of up to 40 meters. The beams will be stored on site until they are positioned on the new bridge structure from the end of September.
Nicole Felts, Waka Kotahi Journey Manager, said there could be delays for motorists caught behind trucks carrying the beams.
“While truckers will stop wherever possible throughout their journey, people should factor potential delays of up to 20 minutes into their travel plans.
“Waka Kotahi thanks everyone for their patience while transporting these bridge girders over the next few weeks.”
The new two-lane bridge will be 195 meters long, formed of curved steel girders, supported by four piers located approximately 12 meters above the mean river level.
The weather resistant steel beams (with a rusty look) are made of high strength structural steel that forms a corrosion resistant surface and is maintenance free. They continue to ‘weather’ where they are positioned, resulting in minimal maintenance costs and a more economical long-life bridge solution.
Safety barriers will be installed along the roads.
It includes a shared walking and cycling path.
Designed to modern earthquake standards, the new bridge will safely connect people, goods and places.
Construction began in January 2022 and is expected to be completed by bridge builder HEB Construction in late 2023.
The existing bridge
The existing 137-year-old single-lane bridge forms an important link on SH8 between Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown, but it is no longer well suited to today’s higher traffic volumes, or larger trucks bigger and heavier that regularly use this route.