Trucks return to broken bridge
No more delays for 9500 daily river crossers
The Ashley River bridge has reopened to all traffic after two weeks of closure.
The bridge was closed after the number nine pier was washed away during the storms in Canterbury last month.
"It's all back to normal, as long as the river doesn't come back up we should be allright for a while," roading engineer Ian Kennedy said.
Repairs began as soon as the waters receded, and it was now safe.
The bridge reopened to cars yesterday. Trucks are now permitted to use the bridge.
"We're still doing a bit of river work to tidy it all up, so it doesn't wash out in that spot again," Kennedy said.
"There's a bit of a snow melt going on at the moment so we're watching that, but we're not sure how bad that's going to be."
There are an average of 9500 crossings on the bridge each day and having it out-of-action had created lengthy delays for both north and south-bound motorists.
A new bridge is being designed for the Ashley River and construction is expected to finish in December 2014.
Waimakariri District Council utilities and roading manager Gerard Cleary said the bridge would be shut in future flood events due to the risk to other piles when the river is high.
Meetings would be held this week to update the public on repair work and work under way on building the new bridge.
- © Fairfax NZ News