• Heavy transport operators reminded to adhere to bridge weight restrictions

Heavy transport operators reminded to adhere to bridge weight restrictions

Heavy transport operators have been to adhere to bridge weight restrictions in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi said in a statement today that weight restrictions are currently in place on two highway bridges in Hawke’s Bay and one north of Gisborne.

Waikare Gorge Bailey bridge on State Highway 2, north of Napier, is limited to general access and 50MAX. Overweight and over dimension are by permit only with a 10km/h speed limit and 1 heavy vehicle at a time policy. The Ngaruroro River Bridge (Fernhill) on State Highway 50, has a speed restriction in place of 30km/h and a weight restriction dependent on the vehicle’s axles.

In Tairāwhiti, the Hikuwai Bailey bridge on State Highway 35, north of Tolaga Bay, is limited to general access and 50MAX. Overweight and over dimension are by permit only with a 10km/h speed limit and 1 heavy vehicle at a time policy.

In the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, Hikuwai No. 1 bridge on SH35 and Waikare Gorge Bridge on SH2, were two bridges that were destroyed. In their place now are Bailey bridges, until permanent solutions are constructed.

NZTA Journey Manager for Hawke’s Bay, Andre Taylor says these bridges have clearly-marked weight restrictions in place for a reason.

“The weight and speed restrictions are in place to preserve the life of the bridges, they are going to be here for a number of years until the permanent solutions are designed and constructed, so we need to look after them.”

“We know the majority of operators are conscious of the restrictions and continue to adhere to them, however we know of one instance where Police have stopped a vehicle travelling across the Fernhill Bridge recently, well in excess of the signposted restrictions. Police have taken enforcement action against this company.”

Taylor says the agency has had unconfirmed reports of overweight vehicles using Hikuwai and Waikare Bailey bridges.

“This is a timely reminder that these restrictions are in place, and we will continue to work with New Zealand Police to enforce these bridge restrictions.”

“Adhering to those restrictions is a really important part of ensuring the bridges remain open and accessible to all road users, the last thing we all want or need is further restrictions on the bridges.” says Taylor.

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