Damaged Upper Hutt bridge to be replaced

Damaged Upper Hutt bridge to be replaced

More than $2 million will be spent to replace a bridge that nearly collapsed during heavy rain, and left a community near Wellington isolated.  

About 70 homes in Birchville, Upper Hutt, were cut off when the swollen Akatarawa River caused the bridge to buckle in October 2015.

The only access for more than a week was by foot, along a 900m walkway by the river.

It was eventually widened and sealed, to allow for vehicles, which the Hutt City Council says has been working well.

Tenders were opened for the construction of a new bridge, and the contract has gone to Wellington company Brian Perry Civil Ltd.

The new bridge will cost about $2.1 million, and will be covered by insurance and ratepayers.

The deconstruction of the buckled bridge was due to begin next month, but will now be delayed until after the trout spawning season in September.

The completion date for the new bridge is January 27, 2017.

When the new bridge is built, work will start on closing the temporary access road, which runs through private land.