Whangarei’s Lower Hatea River Crossing has passed the critical half-way milestone, and received praise from 50% funder, the New Zealand Transport Agency.
The temporary jetty, used to complete the in-river parts of the Pohe Island side of the bridge and install beams and platforms has being dismantled and is being installed on the Port Road side of the River.
The project is on budget, it is running two weeks ahead of schedule and there have been no on-site injuries, said WDC Infrastructure and Services Manager Simon Weston.
“The NZTA, which is contributing half of the bridge’s $29.16 million construction cost, has congratulated Council and contractors on the great progress made,” he said.
The NZTA’s Regional Manager Planning and Investment, Peter Casey says the bridge is one of a number of projects in the North partly funded by the NZTA, and it was heartening to see so much of the work for the bridge contracted to local firms.
“The bridge is an exciting and visually appealing addition to the Northland scene, and will provide an important addition to the roading network in Whangarei. Being a lifting bridge, it will also be very acceptable to Whangarei’s maritime sector,” says Mr Casey.
The NZTA’s contribution to date for investigation and construction is $7.62m.
Work completed to date on both the Pohe Island and Port Road sides of the bridge includes two abutments and seven of the bridge’s ten piers, composed so far of 700 cubic metres of concrete and 163 tonnes of reinforcing steel.
The eastern decking works are complete with 1007 tonnes of pre-cast concrete supported on huge steel beams (weighing a total 158 tonnes) spanning nearly half the width of the river, and nearly half the length of the bridge. The location of the Riverside Drive roundabout has been pre-loaded to speed settlement there.
Solid progress has also been made on the road works on the Port Road side of the bridge. Piles have been driven and the land has been pre-loaded for several months to ensure settlement. The pre-loading has now been removed and the intersection of Port Road and Okara Drive (near Cobham Oval) has been closed to enable the road to be raised and roundabouts to be installed.
The aim is to complete the western side of the bridge and install the lifting bascule span in autumn next year.