The Patiti Point South St Bridge has officially opened today, replacing one that had provided more than a century of service.
The previous timber bridge built in 1910 has been replaced with a single span precast concrete bridge.
While the timber bridge was at the end of its useful life as a rail overbridge, there was still some life in it yet, and it has been donated to the central South Island trails group for them to repurpose it as a cycle bridge.
“It’s exciting to be able to replace this bridge as it was at the end of its life, and with the new bridge we can ensure ongoing access for residents and visitors to the Patiti Point community,” Land Transport Manager Susannah Ratahi said.
“We’re also pleased that the old bridge won’t be going to landfill and will see a continued life on our cycle trails.
“Working with residents through construction was a pleasure, and we appreciated their patience throughout the works.
“Our onsite contractors have done a great job to get this project completed considering the tricky site over the rail line.
“Getting the work completed prior to Christmas is a great result for the community.”
The previous 13 metre long three span timber structure was requiring an increasing amount of maintenance, which its position over the main railway line made challenging.
The new 18-metre-long concrete and steel structure is on a slightly different angle to the previous bridge, in a better alignment to deal with modern large vehicles such as rubbish trucks.
The bridge has also been made single span to make future maintenance easier.
“The bridge is now open today, and hopefully will continue to be for the next 113 years like its predecessor,” Susannah said.