Bridge upgrade to provide local jobs

ROSA STUDHOLME
Last updated 05:00 19/02/2013
kurow bridge plan
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PLAN: A graphic image of a new bridge over the southern stream of the Waitaki River between Kurow and Hakataramea.

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The construction project to replace the Kurow bridges will see up to 10 local people hired, the contractor in charge of the $18.5 million project says.

McConnell Dowell Constructors will start work next month to replace the 132-year-old twin bridges across the Waitaki River on State Highway 82.

It is expected the project will take 18 months to complete.

The company said it is aiming to hire as many locals as possible, although some specialist roles will be filled from outside the area.

"We have skills we are looking for but we've still started discussing and engaging with people in the local area," construction manager Joe Edwards said.

"Wherever possible we will recruit local people."

Two local contractors were in line for the project, he said.

"We are looking at finalising contracts with Downer EDI and with Rooney Earthmoving."

Up to 16 people will be employed in total during construction, but this would change during the "different subcontracting periods".

NZ Transport Agency state highway manager Colin Knaggs said the value of the project to the community extended beyond building two new bridges.

"During the 18-month construction there will be a significant boost to the local economy."

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- The Timaru Herald

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