Bridge demolition about to begin

21 February 2017 1:01PM

The first major demolition project in the programme to restore the Main North Line linking Picton and Christchurch is about to get underway.

Bridge 90, near Hundalee in North Canterbury, will be taken down and replaced with a temporary bridge. The project is being tackled by KiwiRail and its recovery partner NCTIR (North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery).

The bridge was severely damaged in last year’s Kaikoura earthquake.

KiwiRail Group General Manager Network Services Todd Moyle says “it will be demolished using a ‘nibbler’ similar to that used to remove Wellington buildings damaged in the same quake.

“A temporary bridge using steel spans KiwiRail keeps in reserve for such emergencies will be built on the existing foundations after the damaged superstructure and piers are removed.

“The temporary bridge will be suitable for all types of trains.

“Using the temporary spans is part of KiwiRail’s push to re-open the Main North Line as quickly as possible.

“The line is a vital link in KiwiRail’s network that provides just in time services, shifting freight from the North Island via the Interislander ferries to Christchurch and on through to South Island customers.

“Before the quake KiwiRail was moving 1 million tonnes of freight over the line each year.

“The partnerships we have in the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance with NZTA and other alliance members are really paying off.

“The work on Bridge 90 is important to the rebuilding programme because it will allow work trains to travel north with equipment for other large projects,” says Todd Moyle.

Simon Kilroy

027 405 6800

KiwiRail Communications