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Bridge work on schedule

The scaffolding installation on Tauwharenīkau Bridge on State Highway 53 is still underway and is scheduled to be completed on February 9.

The bridge has been closed in both directions between 7am and 5pm on weekdays since January 23 but has remained open outside of those hours and will stay open on Waitangi Day.

Late last year, regular safety checks found that the bearings on Tauwharenīkau Bridge had corroded and need to be replaced for road user safety.

Wellington Transport Alliance [WTA] manager Roxanne Hilliard confirmed that concrete repairs will also be carried out on the bridge in the coming weeks, and are due to begin February 19.

“While this work is underway, all operations will be underneath the bridge, and no traffic management will be required,” she said, confirming that the highway and bridge will remain open for this work.

The bridge is expected to close again temporarily while the bridge is lifted to give crews access to replace the bearings.

“Replacing the bridge’s bearings requires lifting the bridge at both ends using a specialised jacking system, removing the old bearings and replacing them with new ones before lowering the bridge back into place,” Hilliard said.

The work to lift the bridge and replace corroded bearings isn’t expected to occur until May, once the bearings arrive from the supplier.

Final road closures are expected later in the year for the removal of the scaffolding, and additional closures for work may be required.

“Details will be shared with the community and road users before any planned closures,” Hilliard said.

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