Bridge to undergo repairs

Riverton motorists will have to queue to cross the estuary when the Aparima Bridge is reduced to one lane during maintenance.

The New Zealand Transport Agency will spend $600,000 repairing and earthquake strengthening the 135-metre bridge, which links the two sides of the Riverton township and is an important route for Southland freight.

NZTA Southland area manager Peter Robinson said the bridge was in good condition but work was needed to repair damaged steel and concrete, and earthquake strengthen the structure.

Part of the work, on the road's surface, required the bridge to be closed to one lane of traffic. The closure could begin next week, he said.

However, the lane closure would be restricted to 15-minute periods to ease congestion and keep residents happy, he said.

"We're mindful . . . that it's a link road with a big detour route so we will do everything we possibly can to minimise the effects on the community."

Although he did not have a start date for work, scaffolding would be erected so repairs on the bridge could start as soon as possible within the next two weeks, he said.

Downer will do the work, and the repairs were expected to be completed by June, he said.

The Southland Times