Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Transport Minister confirms six more bailey bridges

Transport Minister, Michael Wood, today confirmed six additional bailey bridges will be built to restore lifeline routes as quickly as possible in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle.

“Our immediate priority has been to reopen lifeline roads and reconnect isolated communities. So far 91% of the 1,346km of damaged state highways have been reopened to lifeline access,” Minister Wood said.

“Today I can confirm that six further Bailey bridge sites have been approved, with construction committed to at Hollywood (pictured), Moeangiangi, Whanawhana, Ellis-Wallace, Mangatutu low level, Makiekie (Coal) Creek and site investigation and design are now underway.”

Four additional sites are also being considered, he said.

“We have enough stock and components available or on order for all of the approved bridge sites. In the next few weeks we’re expecting to reopen SH2 Tangoio to Tūtira, SH1 Brynderwyn, and SH38 from Tuai to Aniwaniwa Falls. However, the damage to our road and rail has been massive and so some connections will take longer to restore.”

“We know that communities and businesses in affected areas want up to date and reliable information so they can regain a sense of certainty. The Government is committed to providing that information.”

To ensure communities have access to the most up to date information, Waka Kotahi is releasing recovery dashboards for Northland, Gisborne, Waikato, and Hawkes Bay that outline which roads have been reopened, and indicative opened timeframes for roads still being worked on.

“We’ve made a lot of progress already and I want to thank the tireless work of contractors who have made this happen,” said Minister Wood.

“While we’re making good progress we know that some routes like SH35 and SH25A will take some time to reopen. I want to thank the community for their patience and understanding as we undertake this massive job.

“Once we’re confident all communities are reconnected, and lifeline routes are open, we’ll move onto the next stage of the rebuild. This stage will focus on getting more permanent solutions for affected areas. Waka Kotahi is still undergoing assessments and planning to work out what those solutions could look like and at what cost, but it’s too soon to say.

“We know that the work past the initial recovery stage will take time and require additional funding. We are absolutely committed to standing alongside and supporting local communities through the rebuild,” he said.

To view the Recovery Dashboards click here.

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