Work is almost complete on two replacement bridges on the Waitaki River on SH82 at Kurow, North Otago. The new bridges will replace two wooden, 132 year-old single lane bridges (256m and 140m long) which have been closed a number of times each year during high flood events - forcing motorists to make a 130 km detour.
The regular closures eventually led NZTA to commission the two new bridges. Construction of the bridges ensures an important corridor for the region and an alternative route between Dunedin and Christchurch if an emergency closes the SH1 bridge north of Oamaru.
"The project was quite a large job for us even though it was pretty straight forward,” says Hamish Brixton, Sales Engineer, South Island for CSP Pacific. “We supplied Bridge Rail which included custom built posts for the project and we custom built the handrail for the walkway and cycle lane. We also supplied the barrier for the approaches which is about to be installed. It all went very well and it was nice to be part of an historic and very welcome project for the town of Kurow.”
Four hundred locals turned out in mid June to see the new bridge take its first vehicle more than 130 years after the old bridge it replaces was opened. The old bridges are about to be dismantled but will not be forgotten with two of the original spans remaining as a reminder of the original structures that once connected Kurow Island to the rest of the region.