Work is progressing on the new two-lane bridge at Taipā, in the Far North.

The NZTA's latest progress report on the new State Highway 10 bridge at Taipā said piling of the temporary staging from which the new two-lane bridge will be built is nearing completion on the eastern side of the river.

The first of three pier headstocks was under way, and causeway earthworks on the western side were almost finished. The causeway now extended as far as it would reach into the river.

Plans are being made to relocate services such as communications, water and wastewater, with stormwater works programmed to begin in around six weeks, following the relocation of the existing wastewater pipe. A new stormwater pipe will be laid from Oruru Rd, through the carpark and alongside SH10 as far as Taipā Area School.

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This week the smaller crane and drill rig would be moved from the western (township) side of the river to the east side. That means temporary restrictions to traffic on
Oruru Rd and around the parking area at the shops.

Oruru Rd would stay open, but motorists are warned to expect short delays at times when transporters reversed on to the causeway to remove the crane, in sections.

Meanwhile, the delivery of bridge beams was scheduled to begin this week. The beams, the heaviest weighing 47 tonnes and more than 26m long, would be transported one at a time from Manukau, in Auckland, an NZTA spokesperson saying no one in Northland was able to manufacture them in the size required.

Transporters like this one will be used to deliver the hollow core beams to the Taipā bridge site.
Transporters like this one will be used to deliver the hollow core beams to the Taipā bridge site.

A great deal of planning and route checking was going into ensuring the transporter could reach its destination. There were some short, tight corners between Manukau and Taipā, the bridge on SH10 at Kaeo being one of them, which would only be negotiable with the use of independent axles.

The transporters would only be able to carry one beam at a time, meaning 44 round trips covering around 29,000km.

Construction of the new bridge will continue into summer, the spokesperson said, but initially only one lane, and the footpath, would be opened (operating in the same way as the existing one-lane bridge), to provide a safe area in which the team would begin dismantling the existing structure.

The traffic team reported that drivers were generally observing the speed limits through the site, and asked that they continue to do so to help keep everyone safe.