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Auckland’s Harbour Bridge has a temporary fix that will allow for more lanes to open up to traffic.
The 22.7m truss, weighing about four tonnes was damaged on Friday when a truck had crashed into it after being hit by 127kph wind gusts.
Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) successfully completed an overnight repair to temporarily fix the damaged strut on the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Work to open an additional two lanes took place early this morning.
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During the repair overnight; the southbound lanes of the Bridge going into the city centre were closed, this was mainly to allow engineers and operators doing the repair to take out the damaged strut and replace it with the new temporary part.
The lower part of the strut was replaced with a section of freshly fabricated steel. The temporary fix is in place after extensive efforts by specialist bridge engineers and fabricators. The engineers and fabricators have spent countless hours and time to designing the new strut, calculating and designingthe repair, and shaping the steel strut.
“We had perfect weather conditions on the Harbour Bridge overnight and so progress was much faster than we had hoped. There was very little wind, good temperatures and visibility which meant the team were able to get the new section installed and carry out the testing all in one night,” says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency General Manager Transport Services, Brett Gliddon.
“This temporary repair allows two extra lanes (one northbound lane and one southbound lane) on the centre span of the bridge to open to traffic. The two outer clip-on lanes are open, which will mean three lanes in each direction.”
“While this is really good news, even with the temporary strut now in place the bridge is still in a more compromised state than usual and loads on the bridge will need to be managed carefully. This will remain until the permanent solution is in place and the bridge can support its full weight capacity again.”
The permanent repair is currently being worked on, it will allow for all lanes to re-open but according to Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) — this could take weeks and it is still weeks away from being replaced by the temporary fix.
Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) says that any vehicles overweight are not allowed to drive on the bridge and asks that all heavy vehicles use the Western Ring Route, this is in place until the permanent solution is installed.
Buses are allowed to still use the clip-on lanes says Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency).
Image courtesy: shutterstock.com
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