Heavy automobiles check soundness of Ashburton bridge

2021-06-02 11:10:20

Testing of the Ashburton River bridge to see if it might safely reopen to heavy automobiles is now underway after a delay this morning.

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Ashburton individuals are eager to observe how shingle-laden vehicles fare in the event that they navigate the SH1 bridge over the Ashburton River.
Photograph: RNZ / Katie Todd

The Transport Company stated about 20 folks had been engaged on the Ashburton Bridge at this time.

Its South Canterbury street upkeep supervisor John Keenan stated a crew was within the river pulling out the flood particles that had undermined one of many piers.

“It is the particles that does not assist with what is going on on with the river move, that is what’s undermined one of many piers so we’re making an attempt to clear that particles out whereas we will,” he stated.

An RNZ reporter who’s on the scene stated mild automobiles as much as three and a half tons have been allowed to cross the bridge earlier within the day.

This meant folks residing within the south of Ashburton may get to their workplaces and purchase provides.

The bridge closed round 11am for a second lot of stress testing.

Somewhat than inserting concrete weights with a crane on the bridge, as engineers did final night time, a convoy of six pickup vehicles has begun crossing the bridge.

The vehicles are loaded with shingle and their journey is being intently watched by native folks.

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Photograph: RNZ / Katie Todd

There are two detour routes out there, one inland for heavy automobiles and one in the direction of the coast for vehicles and different mild automobiles.

An RNZ reporter who has travelled alongside the Arundel-Rakaia Gorge Street this morning skilled delays with numerous vehicles utilizing the route.

Backlog of trucks heading south on Arundel-Rakaia Gorge Road

Photograph: RNZ / Ella Stewart

Earlier this week some truck drivers needed to make arduous journeys to detour Ashburton to get to the decrease South Island.

Amongst them was Dave Bassford who needed to ship Meadow Recent milk in his 44-ton rig from Christchurch to Invercargill and use roads alongside the West Coast making it twice as lengthy.

At instances he may solely journey round 15km/h up some hills.

He stated he was grateful there was not a lot site visitors as a result of a few of the corners have been very sharp.

Bassford stated drivers have been abused for not getting provides by however nature is nature.

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Photograph: RNZ / Ella Stewart

In the meantime, the climate is okay throughout Canterbury at this time because the cleanup continues after the times of heavy rain, however rivers stay swollen because the floodwaters slowly recede.

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A view of the Ashburton River from the Arundel-Rakaia Gorge Street.
Photograph: RNZ / Ella Stewart

Various roads stay closed throughout the area with State Freeway 1 closed at Hinds as a consequence of flooding, and State Freeway 73 between Springfield and Fort Hill closed as a consequence of flooding and slips.

Round 17 roads are closed within the Mid-Canterbury area.

There are additionally a number of native street closures in Timaru, Selwyn and Hurunui however all roads in Christchurch at the moment are open.

It is also the beginning of an enormous cleanup for farmers whereas in North Canterbury some property homeowners face the prospect of the doable pink zoning of their houses.

Laurence Rooney's tractor on the waterlogged farm.

Laurence Rooney’s tractor on the waterlogged farm in Mid-Canterbury.
Photograph: RNZ / Katie Todd

The state of native emergency declared by Civil Defence Emergency Administration Canterbury stays in place.

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