Bridge removal delayed & again

The temporary bridge at the Narrows on the Waikato River will not be removed for another week.

The bridge was due to be removed today and the Airport Rd/SH21 crossing was closed for the work but technical difficulties with a crane have forced a postponement.

The NZ Transport Agency has now scheduled the removal, and a second crossing closure, for next Friday, April 29 weather permitting. Updated – not Wednesday, April 27 as NZTA advised earlier.

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Narrows riverbank strengthening continues

Work to stabilise the Waikato River banks under the Narrows Bridge at Tamahere is proving challenging and taking longer than expected, says the NZ Transport Agency.

But the agency says despite the challenges the work is progressing well and strengthening of one bank is expected to be completed by Christmas.

The stabilisation work, which has involved erecting a temporary Bailey bridge alongside the permanent Narrows Bridge, uses a technique called soil nailing. It involves drilling around 75 holes in each bank, 100mm in diameter, to a depth of 18 metres. Once the holes are drilled a reinforcing bar is installed in each one and the hole is filled with cement grout.

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Narrows river crossing re-opened

Traffic is again crossing the Waikato River at The Narrows after a temporary one-lane Bailey bridge was opened tonight (Wednesday) on Airport Rd.

The Airport Rd or SH21 crossing is open to vehicles only, with no access for cyclists and pedestrians. Traffic lights on either side of the single-lane bridge control the one-way traffic.

NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) State Highway Manager Kaye Clark said the timing phases of the traffic lights didn’t allow for the longer time needed by cyclists to cross the bridge so it wasn’t safe for them to use it.

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Bridging The Narrows closer

A giant step towards reopening the Waikato River crossing at The Narrows was taken yesterday with a 52-metre-long Bailey bridge lifted into position on State Highway 21 or Airport Rd, Tamahere.

The Bailey bridge, immediately downstream of the existing bridge, is supported by four 12m concrete piles and a concrete beam on top.

A timber deck has been installed, with a coating of seal now being placed on top. The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) hopes to have the road open to traffic by Labour Weekend.

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Bridge may open Labour Weekend

The temporary bridge across the Waikato River at The Narrows may be open by Labour Weekend.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) had estimated it would be the end of October before Airport Road or State Highway 21 would be open but today said it was on track to reopen the river crossing a week earlier.

“Excellent progress is being made to install a temporary, single-lane bailey bridge immediately downstream of the existing bridge,” said NZTA State Highway Manager Kaye Clark in a statement. “The foundations have been completed and the bridge is now fully assembled and ready to be transported to the site, where it will be lifted into place next week.”

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Bridge down, businesses out

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

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.

Owner of The Woodbox restaurant Matt Cooper said the closure had affected him hugely.

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