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HomeNew ZealandFlood-destroyed bridge in Auckland replaced with temporary fix in under a week

Flood-destroyed bridge in Auckland replaced with temporary fix in under a week

Mill Flat road bridge

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The bridge was destroyed in the floods last month.
Photo: RNZ/ Nick Monro

A style of bridge used by armed forces has been installed in Auckland’s Riverhead after floodwaters swept the existing one away.

Ten workers from Downer completed the installation of the bailey bridge on Mill Flat Road in just six days to reconnect 200 residents who were cut-off.

Mill Flat Road Bridge, which connected Mill Flat Road and Coatesville-Riverhead Highway was swept away on 27 January and residents had been using a 30-minute forestry road detour, only suitable for 4×4 vehicles, before the temporary bridge was finished.

Auckland Transport stakeholder manager for northwest road maintenance, Johan Swanepoel, told Morning Report the bridge was ordered through Waka Kotahi and sent up from Hastings within 24 hours.

The extreme flooding had broken the banks of the stream below the original bridge, he said.

Mill Flat road bridge

Residents had to use a 30-minute detour while the bridge was fixed.
Photo: RNZ/ Nick Monro

The force of the water and amount of debris that came down with it took out the bridge, and flooded a nearby house.

Swanepoel said the installed bailey bridge was what armed forces used for temporary crossings over waterways.

It was a steel structure with a wooden deck.

The equipment that was sent up weighed about 80 tonnes, Swanepoel said, and consisted of 2500 pieces of steel and bolts. Truck loads of wooden planks were also sent up.

The temporary bailey bridge was one-lane, and “very similar” to what was there prior, although it was a bit stronger, he said.

The crew who put it together were “very well trained” and knew exactly what to do.

“This team was excellent. The Downer team, just want to thank them as well as Waka Kotahi. They have worked with Auckland Transport on this.”

Swanepoel said the original bridge had been due for replacement next year.

That would still happen as Auckland Transport wanted to put in a solid structure that future flooding would have little to no impact on.

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