Connecting and growing our communities.
A healthy dollop of Kiwi ingenuity from Quality Roading and Services and WSP engineers, helped ensure the Te Reinga Bridge was safe to open this week.
Two empty swimming pools sitting on the bridge deck were incrementally filled with water on Monday to see if the bridge could hold the engineers’ recommended weight for light vehicles to move across it.
During the test, information from a variety of sensors was electronically fed back to engineers who were monitoring the test from the road. Tilt sensors were mounted on the piers and the bridge deck to measure any movement of the bridge structure. Strain gauges placed on the tensioned bars currently holding the bridge up measured any stress they were under. Survey equipment was also used to measure if the bridge deck height was changing.
The water used to fill the swimming pools was pumped in from two water trucks parked at the edge of the bridge. The pumps were timed to flow rates so that one thousand litres (equating to 1 tonne) could be added at a time. The team decided against using river water as there wasn’t a safe place to set up the pumps and the height of the bridge presented pumping issues. In total 15 tonnes of water were added to the pools over six hours.
QRS project Manager Mike Wilson says the project has been challenging and interesting and driven by everyone’s desire to open the most direct link between Ruakituri and the rest of the region. “Now we just want the people of Ruakituri to be able to move freely again.”
QRS bought the pools second-hand on the website Trade Me. The previous owners were surprised to learn what they were being used for. “One previous owner offered us floating pool toys as part of the purchase, but we turned her down.”
Part of the re-opening included QRS installing size-limiting frames across the bridge to restrict the size of vehicles that can cross. Vehicles under 2.5m high can use the bridge.
20 May 2022
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