Bridge down, businesses out

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After more than two weeks Tamahere’s Narrows Bridge is still closed and continuing to disrupt local businesses.

The Woodbox has lost customers

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) closed the bridge on State Highway 21 on September 16 after erosion and scouring were found to be threatening the bridge’s foundations.

Until a long term solution was found a one-lane Bailey bridge was expected to be erected. It has yet to be built which has frustrated nearby business owners. Click here for earlier story.

Owner of The Woodbox restaurant Matt Cooper said the closure had affected him hugely, reports the Waikato Times.

“We had a table of 15 call and cancel because they were not willing to drive around the long way,” he said.

Mr Cooper said he was most upset about the lack of communication from both NZTA and Hamilton City Council.

“I’ve heard so many different stories. We’d just like to be told what’s going on,” he said.

Narrows Landing proprietor Brian Hermann, who has lived beside the building for the last 15 years, said it was frustrating.

“I’m a bit disappointed with the lack of speed putting up the Bailey bridge – these sort of things are put up by the army in 24 hours,” he said.

“Wouldn’t you think, if it was a maintenance issue, people would’ve been working on it when the level was really low in summer?”

Mr Hermann said it had certainly affected casual diners at the restaurant and function centre but it was hard to gauge the extent because restaurants were generally quiet at the moment.

“We’ve still got bookings for conferences but it’s affected us quite severely,” he said.

Earlier story: Closed bridge stifles growing business

New Zealand Transport Agency was unable to confirm when the Bailey bridge would be built.

In the meantime, people travelling to Hamilton International Airport on SH21 from the Tamahere side of the city are advised to allow about 30 additional minutes for their journey. The recommended route to and from the airport during the Narrows Bridge closure is via SH3 (Ohaupo Rd).

Motorists heading to Hamilton International Airport from the south via Cambridge are advised to follow the detour signs to the airport which start just south of Cambridge.

Travellers using this southern detour via Kaipaki and Mystery Creek Rds are advised to allow an additional 10 minutes for their journey.

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