Two new Bailey bridges have been installed alongside permanent one-way bridges at Upper Buller and Homestead Creek west of St Arnaud, allowing traffic to flow safely in both directions at all times.
This will eliminate delays from waiting to use the single-lane bridges at these two locations, keeping all traffic moving.
A third duplicate Bailey bridge has also been installed at Speargrass Creek, and will open to traffic later this month.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says the opening of the temporary bridges on the alternative state highway route between Picton and Christchurch will improve safety and reduce travel times while repairs to State Highway 1 are underway.
“The alternative state highway route has been coping with a significant increase in traffic volume since the November 14 Kaikoura earthquake. This is putting the road under a good deal of strain, and providing duplicate bridges at these three pinch points will help to improve safety and reduce delays for everyone using the road,” Bridges says.
“While work is continuing at pace to restore State Highway 1 between Picton and Christchurch, it’s vital we ensure that people can travel safely on the alternative route through Murchison and the Lewis Pass.
“Installing these new bridges is part of the Transport Agency’s broader programme of work to ensure the alternative route can stay open and safely cope with the extra traffic it is carrying while work continues on State Highway 1.”
State Highway 1 should be restored within the next 12 months.