The Upper Hutt City Council has programmed the replacement of the three wooden bridges on Akatarawa Road (situated a short distance either side of Staglands) over the next five years. Just yesterday one of our readers witnessed and accident at this very bridge.
Those that use this road regularly are well aware that these bridges pose traffic problems on what is already a dangerous road to travel. The first bridge will be replaced in mid to late 2010.
The bridges are believed to have been constructed in the 1920’s. During a routine inspection two years ago they all showed signs of deterioration within the wood work. While a considerable amount of structural repair work has been undertaken on the bridges all three have reached the end of their economical life and need to be replaced.
The new bridges will be built to a more durable design and have two lanes, providing some width for pedestrians, cyclists etc. Disruptions may occur, but wherever possible the City Council will try to to minimise the impact on residents and motorists. Retaining one of the bridges as a heritage structure will also be investigated.
The bridge for replacement in the 2009/10 financial year is the first one from Upper Hutt, just before the Wellesley Country Club, and is the most critical for access to residents and businesses past this point.
The middle (weight restricted) bridge and the bridge at the foot of the summit will follow in 2011/12 and 2013/14 respectively.
The Council is very aware that these bridges provide essential access to the residents and businesses along Akatarawa Road and whilst every endeavour will be made to keep disruptions to a minimum during the construction there may be times when it is not possible to maintain full vehicle access. If this should happen contingency plans will be discussed with residents/businesses affected.