Bus driver praises $800k Tinui bridge

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A "first-class" job has been done replacing a derelict Tinui bridge, says resident Neill Palmer.

The old wooden Black Swamp Bridge was replaced late last month, with two key workers and several contractors taking just five weeks to complete the task.

The bridge, located about 8km after the turn-off from the Masterton Castlepoint Rd on Manawa Rd, was earmarked for replacement in 2012 as part of the transport agency's National Land Transport Programme, although it had been identified as a potential project by council for a number of years.

Mr Palmer, who drives over the bridge twice a day in his role as the area's school bus driver, said he wanted to acknowledge the quality work that had been done.

"They did such a great job and we'd been waiting many, many years to get a new bridge," he said.

"They've done a great job -- a brilliant first-class job and it will last for many years."

Used by logging trucks, sheep trucks, and farming traffic travelling between Alfredton, the busy old bridge had been "pretty much derelict", Mr Palmer said.

"It was dangerous -- it was a wooden one with steel runners and with logging trucks going over it, it was wiggling and waggling -- it was past its use-by date."

Masterton District Council spokesman Sam Rossiter-Stead said the contract to replace the bridge was won by Rotorua-based firm Concrete Structures but the work had been done by Masterton-based employees in an "impressive" timeframe.

The new bridge cost $800,000, 57 per cent of which was funded by NZTA. The initial start date of the project had been delayed by cost-saving changes to the design which had meant getting new building and resource consents, Mr Rossiter-Stead said.

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