Saturday, July 13, 2024

New stage of Puketapu bridge rebuild to begin

Work on a new bridge across the Tutaekuri River at Puketapu will enter a new phase next week, with Fulton Hogan establishing the construction site.

This follows the relocation of utilities (power lines and fibre cables) completed during April and May.

The bridge on Vicarage Rd was one of three bridges over the river that were washed away by Cyclone Gabrielle. It provides a link to Puketapu Rd and Dartmoor Rd – the two main routes servicing the farming areas of Patoka, Puketitiri, Puketapu and Rissington.

Hastings Mayor, Sandra Hazlehurst said it was exciting to be making good progress on the bridge replacement.

“For the Puketapu and other rural communities in the area, restoring this access is very important for their quality of life, and their economic wellbeing,” she said.

“It has been very difficult for the wider community being cut off from each other and school.

“We appreciate all the feedback we have received from local residents throughout the process of investigating options for the replacement of this bridge, and it’s very pleasing to be taking this next step in the recovery process.

“I want to acknowledge the Crown, which is providing 100% of the funding for this bridge
through the National Resilience Plan – Regional Transport package.”

Originally built in 1963, the 121-metre long concrete, single lane bridge was proposed to be built back better – replaced by a structure that was stronger and had more weight capacity than the previous bridge.

It would be built to withstand higher-intensity earthquakes and have fewer piers in the stream bed, making it less vulnerable to collecting debris during severe flooding.

Constructed in the same location, it would be upgraded from one to two lanes and include a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians.

The current schedule estimates to have the new bridge completed by mid-2025.

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