Visible progress on bridge build


Construction of the $22 million Kawarau Falls bridge is making visible progress, with a temporary platform jutting well into the river from the southern bank.

NZ Transport Agency project boss Phil Dowsett says drilling had begun for two permanent piles for the abutment anchoring the bridge to the southern side of the Kawarau River.

Work on the northern abutment is expected to begin within a fortnight.

Once that is complete, the next stage will be to drill a single pile out from each abutment for the bridge’s first and fifth piers, with three more piers spanning the river after that.

Dowsett says the bridge’s design is now complete and has been signed off by Queenstown’s council.

However, the agency is consulting with the council over detailed design work for the existing bridge once traffic has transferred to the new structure.

It is also finalising designs for landscaping the construction site and connecting new walking and cycling trails with existing trails.

There are usually about 20 staff on site, either from main contractor McConnell Dowell or subcontractors, but that number is expected to increase next month once work on the northern bank begins, he says.

When finished, the 250m, two-lane curving structure will consist of 1100cu m of concrete and 1500 tonnes of steel.

Otago Daily Times