Luggate red bridge maintenance means 25-minute detours coming

by Lauren Pattemore - Jul 03, 2024

The historic red bridge connecting Tarras with Wānaka on State Highway 8A will be closed for two weeks as the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) undertakes repairs.

A statement from the NZTA says abseilers will be doing "essential maintenance" on the 110-year-old bridge, including tightening bolts and checking deck running boards.

The closure will be in place during the day from 9am until 5pm from Monday, July 8 until Friday, July 19 and follows five weeks of repair work on the bridge that has required stop-go management to be in place.

NZTA South Island manager Robert Choveaux says those who use the bridge during these times need to get familiar with detour routes, or travel at different times.

Some routes are not suitable for all vehicles, and will add 25 minutes to the trip according to the NZTA.

"We thank the travelling public and freight operators for their patience and understanding," Mr Choveaux says.

NZTA is advising cars and vans can travel an alternative route through Hāwea Flat via Kane Road and Camp Hill Road to get to Tarras, however this route isn't approved for HPMV or 50MAX vehicles. 

HPMV or 50MAX vehicles will need to take a route via Kane Road, Cemetery Road, Domain Road and Capell Avenue to State Highway Six in Albert Town.

NZTA says overweight permit holders need to refer to their permits and confirm an alternate route or travel across the bridge outside of closure times.

Arrangement have been made for the school bus that crosses the bridge, while emergency services will also be able to be accommodated at short notice, NZTA says.

The continual closures and repair work on the Luggate Bridge was raised in a Wānaka Chamber of Commerce event today, with one participant asking local mayor Glyn Lewers for a new bridge to connect the two areas.

The audience member says the current bridge isn't cutting it, and it is disruptive for businesses to have to respond to constant closures of it.

Main image (Supplied): A file photo of the Luggate Bridge with scaffolding platform in place for close inspection of joints and piers by members of an abseiling team.

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