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Bridge debris to be moved

Debris under Waipoua Bridge will finally be cleared this week, six months after a storm lodged it up against the concrete.

Trees were swept away, and riverbanks eroded after heavy rainfall in July 2022, lodging a large tree and significant amounts of other debris against the base of the Waipoua Bridge, a key part of State Highway 2 that links Masterton north.

However, a Waka Kotahi spokesperson assured commuters that there was no risk of structural damage.

“The material is well within the structural capability of the bridge.

“However, significant build-ups of debris are routinely removed to maintain waterway capacity beneath the bridges and discourage the snagging of additional debris in future flood events.

The spokesperson said build-ups of debris or changes in river channels are identified during and after major flood events.

“Build-up of debris occurs with high water flows, and clearance of debris is part of our regular maintenance of the highway and bridge network.

“Inspections of bridges to confirm any structural items needing attention also occur on a regular basis.”

They said that although they could not confirm the date an initial inspection took place, a contractor had been sent to clear the material last week.

However, heavy rainfall meant the water level was too high to access it.

“They will attempt it sometime this week again, depending on water levels and safety.”

George Shiers
George Shiers
George Shiers is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age interested in politics and social issues. He reports regularly on a range of topics including infrastructure, housing, and transport. George is also the Tararua reporter and helps cover police, fire and court stories.

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