New impact beams being installed on Eastern Hutt Road Rail Bridge
20 October 2015 4:04PM
KiwiRail is installing new impact beams on the rail bridge on Eastern Hutt Road near Silverstream and truck drivers are being asked to check the height of their vehicles before passing underneath.
KiwiRail Incident Recovery Manager, Emma Cowell, says that KiwiRail is working with Upper Hutt City Council, Greater Wellington Regional and NZTA on the project. The work will happen over Labour Weekend and the new beams will give extra protection to the bridge from strikes.
“Further improvements to the clearance of this bridge will be undertaken during the Christmas break but until then our message to those driving trucks and heavy vehicles has not changed.
“If you are travelling on Eastern Hutt Road always obey the road height signs that give plenty of warning that you are approaching a low bridge.
“Do not try and pass underneath, and if you think your vehicle or load is above the clearance height of 4.15 metres, take an alternative route.”
Ms Cowell says that traffic approaching the bridge will be using one lane and motorists can expect delays over Labour Weekend.
“The bridge is located on a major rail passenger route that carries over 220 Tranz Metro services, along with a number of freight services, every week.
“Damage to a bridge from a strike can include weakening of the structure itself, misalignment of the tracks, or part of the structure falling on to the road. All rail services on the line need to be suspended causing disruption to peoples’ travel plans.
“Anyone involved in a bridge strike, or who is witness to one, should report it to KiwiRail on 0800 808 400 or to Police immediately so the bridge can be inspected and repaired if necessary. It is important that trains do not travel over any damaged structure potentially placing the safety of passengers and our staff at risk.”
Ms Cowell says that any driver who collides with a rail bridge could be liable for the cost of repairing the damage as could their company.
“However in the meantime, our aim is to prevent bridge strikes before they happen, and that is why we are publicly asking all motorists to watch out for the signs and only pass under a bridge when it is safe for them to do so.”
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