New spans marks next stage of upgrade of Eastern Hutt Road rail Bridge

23 December 2015 10:10AM

The next stage of the project to upgrade the rail bridge on Eastern Hutt Road, near Silverstream, gets underway this holiday break, with new spans being installed to give motorists more clearance when passing underneath.

KiwiRail Incident Recovery Manager, Emma Cowell, said that work will begin on 28 December when the first of three replacement spans will be lowered into place. “The new spans will replace the temporary one that has been in place since the bridge was struck by a truck in January this year. The remaining two spans will be put in on 2 January and this will provide the bridge with a permanent structure. “Our hope now is that truck drivers continue to check the height of their vehicles and strikes on the bridge can be avoided.” Ms Cowell says that KiwiRail is working in conjunction with Upper Hutt City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and NZTA on the project, traffic approaching the bridge over the holiday period will be using one lane and motorists should expect delays. “The clearance of the bridge will be raised from its current 4.15 metres later in January when the impact beams are lifted higher but our message to those driving trucks and heavy vehicles has not changed. “Always obey the road height signs, 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.” Tranz Metro services will not be running between Wellington and Upper Hutt stations from 26 December 2015 through until 4 January 2016 and information for those wanting to travel during these dates is available at www.tranzmetro.co.nz. “All bridge strikes should be reported 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 motorists 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. “KiwiRail’s ongoing 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 to do so.” Media Contact: 04 498 2038