A large turnout of Kurow and Hakataramea Valley residents are expected at the opening of the second of two new bridges across the Waitaki River on Saturday.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has been building the new two-lane bridges on State Highway 82 to replace two ageing single-lane timber bridges which were opened in 1881.
NZTA highway manager Colin Knaggs said the event will mark the completion of the two bridges which will provide the Kurow and Hakataramea communities with a secure like road – one which has existed for more than 133 years and which is critical for the economic growth of the region.
“The community have very much been involved in planning this event and we are expecting large numbers to celebrate this significant milestone for the district.”
Work on the second bridge is progressing well with the final pour of the concrete deck last week, and if good weather persists over the week, the new approaches will be sealed before Saturday’s opening, he said.
They are currently working on the installation of the guard rail and hand rails as well as the construction of the new approaches, Mr Knaggs said.
“Some work will remain to widen the approaches and extend the guard rail once the old timber bridge has been deconstructed in the next few months.”
The $20.1 bridges are part of the NZTA’s $1 billion programme of investment in Canterbury’s transport network from 2012 to 2015.
The bridge will be opened by Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean on the Hakataramea side of the Waitaki River at 12.30pm.