Bridging the gap from Levin to Auckland

By Tanya Wood -
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A 34m section of the bridge built by Techlam is finally lowered onto the truck that will transport it from Levin to Auckland.
A 34m section of the bridge built by Techlam is finally lowered onto the truck that will transport it from Levin to Auckland.

Levin has been 'bridged' with Auckland.

A 52m long timber bridge manufactured by Levin company Techlam NZ was loaded up for transporting to the City of Sails on Monday, taken by road in two sections.

The 18m and 34m sections, a combined weight of 22 tonnes, left the Tiro Tiro Rd factory on Tuesday morning.

It was a satisfying sight for Techlam NZ production manager Greg Dunford.

"There is a big sense of achievement. All 22 of the staff were involved in the project at some point. We're all proud of this project and of all the work we do," he said.

The bridge will be installed between Warkworth and Leigh, part of the Matakana Bridge. It has taken just over a year from design concept, by Levin-based sister company Edifice Contracts, to completion, including two months on site to build.

Built from locally sourced Radiata pine, the timber has been glued and laminated together for structural strength and chemically treated and coated to withstand the elements.

Techlam is used to building timber structures of this type, usually around the 22m-24m length, but this bridge is the longest one to date and Mr Dunford readily admitted it "pushed them to the limit".

Equipment had to be re-located and the press extended to accommodate the finished 34m section which stuck partly out of the factory door during machining.

Part of a fence was also removed to accommodate the truck transporting the larger section.

Mr Dunford said he plans to visit the bridge in its new home.

"You see these things built, but seeing them in place and being used you get another sense of achievement."

Techlam NZ provided the beams for the Wellington Airport extension and is working on several projects, including a roof for a Samoan Church and Tuvalu's new airport.

Brett Hamilton, Techlam NZ general manager, said the result is a credit to the whole team.
"Everyone involved will all be proud of the completed structure," he said.

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