Plans under way to repair bridge

The historic Clifden bridge is to be repaired.

New Zealand Historic Places Trust stopped pedestrians from using the suspension bridge in April 2010 after a commissioned inspection revealed structural deficiencies. Trust planned work programme manager Peter Walker, who is based in Wellington, said the goal was to make the bridge safe and open it again for pedestrians.

“We are currently going through the process of selecting an engineer who can specialise in the unique restoration work required to repair suspension swing bridges as there are very few bridges like it in the country.”

Once an engineer was chosen, the work would be put out to tender.

“The Historic Places Trust has a budget, through Government funding, to investigate and confirm the work involved, and then deliver the necessary repairs,” Mr Walker said.

The Crown owns the bridge but the trust has been vested with responsibility to manage it.

“Once we know the shape, size and timing of the repairs we will be keen to share that information with the Tuatapere community - we are optimistic that repairs will start early in the new year."

Tuatapere Community Board chairman Gray Robertson said they were delighted that work to repair their treasured landmark would proceed. The bridge, dating from 1899, is about 15 kilometres north of Tuatapere.

The Southland Times