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Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) says the installation of a new permanent strut for the Auckland Harbour Bridge was a success, after previously announcing the bridge southbound lanes going into the city would be closed from 9 pm yesterday.
The bridge was damaged two weeks ago after one truck that was gushed by wind followed by another whoosh of winds caused another truck to crash both into Aukland’s Harbour Bridge at around 11 am on Friday morning.
The bridges overarch was damaged, with a steel upright sheared off.
“The new strut is now in place and it’s been tensioned up which is great progress and a significant step forward in getting the bridge operational again,” says Waka Kotahi General Manager Transport Services, Brett Gliddon.
The southbound clip-on lanes are now open, operating at three lanes. Accordingly, the bridge will be operating at 75% of the full capacity.
“We are very pleased with the progress overnight. As well as removing the temporary strut and installing the new 22.7 metre piece, the team has also re-tensioned the new strut so it’s performing its load-bearing function in the bridge superstructure,” said Waka Kotahi General Manager Transport Services, Brett Gliddon.
“While the tensioning is in place, the job is still not complete. We’ve made good progress but we need to monitor the strut in the days ahead to see how the entire bridge is performing with the new piece in place. That will include checking our measurements off the bridge against our modelling and also having those measurements checked by our overseas per review team.”
“The freak event, where a 127 kph wind gust blew a truck over and damaged a bridge strut, was unprecedented in the bridge’s 61-year history and has resulted in a significant impact on its users and a large response effort.”