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Clean up of destroyed bridges underway

Brookfields Bridge span demolition

Over the past two weeks, damaged sections of Brookfields Bridge have been removed from the Tutaekuri River waterway as part of the ongoing repairs to the wider transport network following Cyclone Gabrielle.

Brookfields Bridge is one of 13 bridges and five large culverts destroyed by the cyclone, and is one of three broken bridge structures currently being cleared.

The others are the Mangatutu and Whanawhana Bridges, both of which have had temporary bailey bridge replacements built.

It’s expected to take another week to complete the works – timed to minimise the ecological impact, and now out of the water and taking place on the riverbank.

Hastings District Council transportation manager Jag Pannu said these works were part of the prioritised programme of repairs and rebuilds, with timings determined by the number of people affected, access to alternative options, and vulnerability to new weather events.

“While permanent solutions for the replacement of these three bridges are some way from being finalised yet, we are taking the opportunity to clean up the waterways now.”

Investigation works into the feasibility of a replacement bridge at Brookfields are ongoing.

A regional transport study is planned to be conducted during the next three years, aimed at improving the form and function of the transport network connecting Napier and Hastings.

The network that will best serve our communities into the future will be modelled and researched, and will guide future decision making regarding Brookfields Bridge.

The rebuild of the Mangatutu Bridge is currently programmed for 2026/27 and the Whanawhana Bridge in 2028/29.

A further 160 bridges required attention following the cyclone, 80 of which required repairs, of which 32 are large and complex.

A prioritised programme of repairs and rebuilds has been developed at an estimated cost of $800 million and this will be phased over the next seven to 10 years.

9 May 2024

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