Akatarawa Bridges
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Client: Upper Hutt City Council
Location: Wellington
Contract Value: $3.6 million
Completed: Oct 2011
Main Contractor: Brian Perry Civil

This project involved the replacement of three old one-lane timber bridges with new two-lane concrete bridges on a stretch of rural road in Upper Hutt. The road and bridges serve an established residential community and the road itself is very important as it is the only major connection between the community and the Hutt Valley and the Kapiti Coast. The road is considered a potential escape route from Wellington should a large earthquake close the only other two escape routes

The bridges were replaced one at a time. A temporary Bailey bridge was built next to one of the bridges while the existing bridge was demolished entirely and the new bridge built. The Bailey bridge ensured the road remained open to traffic throughout the works.

At the two other bridges further along Akatarawa Road, temporary footbridges were installed to provide pedestrian access whilst the old bridges were removed and the new bridges built. The road was closed for a period of five weeks during the construction of these bridges – there was simply no space available to install a temporary bridge that could be used by cars.

Clearly, working closely with the community and keeping them informed of progress was essential to the success of this project.

One of the dismantled bridges was delivered to the nearby Staglands Wildlife Reserve for future display.

Works Complete in October 2011

  • Work was finished on site in October 2011. This meant that the road was able to be re-opened on time.
  • Getting everything done by the deadline was not without its challenges. Road closures were handled smoothly throughout the works. Detours were established at times, and no complaints or concerns were raised by project neighbours about the disruption.
  • An opening ceremony was held for the bridges, which was widely supported by the community.