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Drivers relieved as storm-damaged bridge reopens

Last updated 07:09 30/06/2013
Ashley Bridge
IAIN McGREGOR/Fairfax NZ

STORM DAMAGE: Repairs are under way at the Ashley Bridge in Rangiora after the river, swollen by heavy rain, washed away one of the structure's piers last week.

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Ashley River Bridge has reopened for cars after having been closed for almost two weeks. 

The bridge was closed after the number nine pier was washed away during the storms in Canterbury. 

"It possibly could have been a log in the river or high flow," said Waimakariri District Council roading and utilities manager Gerard Cleary. 

Repairs began as soon as the waters receded and it was now perfectly safe. 

On average, there are 9500 crossings on the bridge each day and it had been very inconvenient for residents of North Canterbury, particularly Ashley and Loburn, to have it closed, said Cleary. 

Currently the bridge is only open to cars and there is a speed limit of 30kmh while the mortar cures. 

A new bridge is being designed for the Ashley River and construction is expected to finish in December 2014.

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- The Press

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