Following the routine structural inspection of the one-lane Raukokere River Bridge on State Highway 35 north of Ōpōtiki on the East Cape, a reduced weight restriction to heavy vehicle loading is in place.
The inspection identified a significant internal defect within the bridge structure, which requires repair in the immediate future.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has confirmed the design solution and the repair is currently being programmed with the contractor.
The bridge is safe for light vehicles, although, until the bridge repair is completed, all heavy vehicles are restricted to 80% of Class 1 loads when driving over the bridge, with the maximum speed limit of 10km/h remaining in place.
50MAX and overweight vehicles are not permitted to use the bridge under any circumstances.
It is expected that these restrictions will be in place for a minimum of six weeks, pending confirmation of the bridge repairs and resources required. Waka Kotahi will provide further updates as more information becomes available.
Heavy vehicles affected by the restrictions are asked to detour via State Highway 2 and State Highway 35 via Gisborne.
Waka Kotahi acknowledges that this heavy vehicle restriction will have a significant impact on freight operations and apologises for the inconvenience.
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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency works to create transport solutions for all New Zealanders – from helping new drivers earn their licences, to leading safety campaigns to investing in public transport, state highways and local roads.
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