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Swingbridge closes for upgrade

Masterton District Council temporarily closes swingbridge over the Waipoua River. PHOTO/FILE

The swingbridge across the Waipoua River will be closed from today as Masterton District Council begins work to replace its deck.

The work is estimated to finish next month and will allow access by all users including mobility scooters.

The scooters were stopped from using the bridge near Queen Elizabeth Park in Masterton in February last year after timber in the deck was found to be lifting.

The deck of the bridge, opened in 1939, will be replaced with a synthetic reinforced plastics product with a non-slip surface.

Council roading services manager Kaine Jaquiery, said the council understood the temporary closure of the bridge would inconvenience some people.

For those wishing to cross the river, the closest alternative is the State Highway 2 bridge on Opaki Rd, 200 metres away.

“We will be aiming to complete the work as quickly as possible and are looking forward to the swingbridge being accessible once again for all users,” he said.

The council approved the refurbishment of the swingbridge in Queen Elizabeth Park in late 2020, with the work initially set to start in February this year.

The bridge was closed to mobility scooters early in 2020 after some users reported problems with the decking timbers.

It was initially thought hot weather had caused the boards to move. After assessment, further repairs were recommended.

A spokesperson for the council said that, at the time, it was important any health and safety risks were addressed.

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