29 August 2011
Cambridge’s high level Victoria Bridge will remain closed at least until early next week to allow for the completion of in-depth investigations into soil stability around the bridge supports.
From tomorrow, Waipa District Council will offer free access to the bus service between Leamington/Cambridge in an effort to reduce traffic volumes on State Highway 1 caused by the closure.
The bridge was closed without delay last Wednesday night after consultant engineers reported that a slip may have compromised the supports, making the bridge potentially unsafe.
Service Delivery group manager Barry Bergin said a drilling rig arrived on site this morning to begin a high level geo-technical investigation. This included drilling a bore hole into the river bank behind the bridge to determine the soil profile and strength.
“As a precautionary measure it is appropriate the bridge remains closed until all of the investigations are complete,” he said. “Once we know the results we will have a better idea as to how long the bridge might remain closed.”
Over the weekend some of the equipment left on site by council contractors had been tampered with, which was of great concern.
“It is important people leave the signs and equipment alone as they are there to ensure people’s safety,” said Mr Bergin.
The council was acutely aware of the traffic management issues caused by the bridge being closed and was encouraging people to take steps to ease the pressure on the State Highway Network around the low level bridge where possible, particularly at peak times.
It was hoped offering free access to the bus would be one way to help reduce congestion.
From tomorrow morning people can cross the river to visit Cambridge/Leamington on the normal bus timetable and route for free.
The timetable is available at www.busit.co.nz
or by phoning 0800 4 BUSLINE (0800 4 2875463).
People are also being urged to car pool or take alternative routes to get to Cambridge/Leamington where possible.
There was the ability to use Kaipaki/Mystery Creek Road for travellers heading north from Leamington while those heading south could use the crossing over the Karapiro dam.
People travelling to Leamington from the north could exit State Highway 1 at Tamahere and follow the Mystery Creek Road route.
“We thank people for their co-operation and understanding at this time,” Mr Bergin said.
An update will be issued once more information comes to hand.