Sunday, May 19, 2024

Cyclone-hit bridge clean up begins

Hastings District Council is working to remove damaged sections of Brookfields Bridge from the Tutaekuri River waterway as part of ongoing repairs to the region’s wider transport network following Cyclone Gabrielle.

Brookfields Bridge is one of 13 bridges and five large culverts destroyed by the cyclone, and is one of three broken bridge structures currently being cleared.

The others are the Mangatutu and Whanawhana Bridges, both of which have had temporary bailey bridge replacements built, Council said in a statement today.

It’s expected to take another week to complete the works – timed at Brookfields to avoid fish spawning season, and now out of the water and taking place on the riverbank.

Council transportation manager, Jag Pannu said the works were part of the prioritised programme of repairs and rebuilds, with timings determined by the number of people
affected, access to alternative options, and vulnerability to new weather events.

“While permanent solutions for the replacement of these three bridges are some way from being finalised yet, we are taking the opportunity to clean up the waterways now,” said Mr Pannu.

The Council says investigation works into the feasibility of a replacement bridge at Brookfields are ongoing.

A regional transport study is planned to be conducted during the next three years, aimed at
improving the form and function of the transport network connecting Napier and Hastings.

“The network that will best serve our communities into the future will be modelled and researched, and will guide future decision making regarding Brookfields Bridge,” the Council said.

The rebuild of the Mangatutu Bridge is currently programmed for 2026/27 and the Whanawhana Bridge in 2028/29.

A further 80 bridges suffered significant damage requiring complex repairs during the cyclone, and there are 212 large and complex slips still requiring engineering designs, Council confirmed.

Council says a prioritised programme of repairs and rebuilds has been developed at an estimated cost of $800 million and this will be phased over the next seven to 10 years.

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