Public check out bridge progress

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 15:54 10/06/2014
Waikanae bridge construction

UNDERGROUND STRUCTURES: Reinforcing cages, 3m wide by 30m long, set to be driven into the ground for Waikanae Bridge columns.

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Kapiti people have received a progress report on construction of the planned second bridge over the Waikanae River.

An open day ran on Saturday at the site of the bridge for the Kapiti expressway.

Senior engineer Ian Stockdale said the open day drew a strong crowd who stopped to have a cup of tea and a chat about what was going on.

Work under way at the site, about 500m east of the Otaihanga Domain, is currently focused on setting reinforced piles for the bridge in place, he said.

He said a pair of cranes are set up where two of the piles will be constructed, from giant metal reinforcing cages.

''They're about 3 metres in diameter, and about 30 metres deep.''

A hole for each of the cages is dug, the cages are set in place then concreted in, he said.

Stockdale said the piles would be completely underground but reinforcing cages for the bridge columns would be ''plunged into the top'' of these. 

''So at a later date we come in and concrete the last bit that is out of the ground.''

Stockdale said the work diverting the Muaupoko Stream from its old route, started last month, was completed, allowing the piling work to begin.

He expects piling work to be completed by the end of this month. 

''That's only the piles so people aren't going to see too much other than a reinforcing cage sticking out of the ground.''

The reinforcing cages for the columns would be concreted in September - likely the only work visible above ground this year, he said.

''Later this year we might start work on the abutments.''

He said in April next year, work is planned to install the giant pre-cast concrete ''crosshead'' - the girder on which the bridge beams would rest.

''Come about April, June next year there's a lot of action happening all at once.''

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