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Next stage of bridge work starts

The next stage of repairs on Tauwharenīkau Bridge State Highway 53 is scheduled to start next week and will require two 12-hour daytime closures.

The closures, on Monday March 11 and Thursday March 14, will run from 7am to 7pm.

Alternative routes will be available via Camp Rd or No. 1 Line, although the Camp Rd detour is not suitable for heavy vehicles.

Repairs on the bridge began in January and are to allow bridge bearings to be replaced after a regular inspection identified that they had corroded.

The next phase of work will be to carry out water blasting and further scaffolding work, and the entire repair project is expected to be completed in July.

A New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi [NZTA] spokesperson said travellers heading to and from Martinborough should expect longer travel times.

“It is essential road users factor this into their travel plans,” the spokesperson said.

NZTA acknowledged that the closure would create disruptions and delays but also noted that “the Tauwharenīkau Bridge is a critical piece of infrastructure on State Highway 53, and it is essential that it be properly maintained”.

“We want to thank drivers for their patience and cooperation while this work is underway,” the spokesperson said.

Residents will continue to have access to their properties at all times during the closure periods.

While the bridge is closed, traffic will detour via Camp Rd, State Highway 2, and No. 1 Line back onto SH53, although heavy vehicles, including semi-trucks, will need to use SH2 and No. 1 Line.

Heavy vehicles will also not be able to travel over the bridge during concrete repairs and bearing replacement work.

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