No.4 Road Bailey bridge open for traffic
Cars and trucks are safely on the move again up No.4 Road in Te Puke thanks to the installation of a temporary Bailey bridge.
The familiar noise of vehicles using the bridge over the Raparapahoe Stream returned this week following a six-week detour.
Council moved quickly to locate and install a Bailey bridge - a portable, pre-fabricated truss bridge - after the existing single-lane bridge washed away during the Auckland Anniversary weather event.
Western Bay of Plenty Mayor James Denyer says it is pleasing to see the temporary bridge in place, reinstating a safe route for the approximately 30 impacted properties.
“This temporary bridge provides residents the means to get back to some normality and with the start of the kiwifruit packing season getting underway, it comes at just the right time to provide suitable road access to the orchards.
“It’s been a true team effort to reach this point. From the residents who showed great patience and understanding in trying times, to the landowners who opened up their private accessway while the installation was taking place, and the Council and engineering teams’ tireless mahi to get the bridge in place.
“A big thanks must also go to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency for providing us with the Bailey bridge, otherwise none of this would be possible.”
Plans for an initial seven-day installation were scuppered by an assessment showing unfavourable ground conditions, forcing a rethink and a number of additional works – making it a six-week project.
This included, installing longer and larger piles (up to 25m into the ground) to support the bridge and its foundations, and ensuring the turning circle at each end of the bridge was wide enough to allow trucks with trailers to access the bridge also.
“Installing this Bailey bridge was not a simple process. How quickly they can be set up depends on how accessible the area is and the preparation work required, and in our case the ground conditions and intricacies of the installation meant we could only go as fast as this allowed,” explains Council’s Transportation Manager, Jim Paterson.
“Our goal from the beginning has been to do this correctly to ensure a temporary bridge that is safe and secure for everyone accessing it. This has been achieved.”
The Bailey bridge will be in place until provision of a permanent structure can be considered and installed.