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Published on : Monday, June 8, 2015
KiwiRail Construction Manager Peter Dautermann says the benefits include reduced maintenance, rail noise and a number of economic benefits. “Fifteen local residents are employed on the project and the project teams are also patronising local businesses including restaurants and motels.”
The bridge is the first of seven in the Taumaranui area being upgraded by KiwiRail and civil contractor Downer. The first milestone at Taringamotu was the replacement of two of five sections of the bridge over the Queen’s Birthday weekend.
Mr Dautermann says it was a busy 24 hours for the teams, who replaced two spans of the timber bridge with an 18T precast concrete beam.
The crew also built up the embankment, re-laid the tracks, and new ballast. Heavy machinery was used to complete the works, including a 100-tonne crane, another smaller 25-foot crane, diggers and rollers.
KiwiRail is working in close consultation with local iwi, neighbours and authorities.
Mr Dautermann says working with the Taumaranui community has been very rewarding.
“KiwiRail’s overarching priority is safety and keeping a good relationship with our neighbours and wider community. Iwi have been very supportive on-site and with enabling us to respect cultural practice such as blessing the works with a Karakia.”
The bridge replacement project started in February of this year. Replacement of all seven bridges will improve KiwiRail’s freight services across the country.