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Pupils and teachers at Waitohu School talk about the crane carried by a truck that stopped outside the school gates. 

Photo: Ian Carson 

Pupils at Waitohu School got a look at a key part of the expressway build when a big rig carrying a crane stopped at their front gate on Thursday, July 4. 

The controlled stop gave the children a chance to not only see what will lift beams onto the new Rāhui overbridge, but discuss with the expressway team what’s involved in construction. 

Big trucks began delivering the beams along Te Manuao Road and past the school from mid-July in preparation for their lift by the crane. 

 With Rāhui Road closed from the western end while the bridge is being built, Te Manuao and Freemans roads provide the only viable route for the trucks.  

The bridge is a huge construction job. It will carry the longest single span on the entire expressway project, traversing the expressway itself, the railway line and shared pathway 

For the record: 

  • The bridge beams are 50.3metreslong. Three sections make up the total length. 

  • Beams are being delivered in 17m-long sections. Fifteen beam sections are to be delivered on nine truckloads (six of the trucks have two sections bolted together).

  • Beams are being transported from East Bridge in Napier, generally overnight to avoid most of the traffic

  • Beams are being installed in a two-thirds section, from the west abutment to the expresswaycentreline, and then a one-third section from expresswaycentreline to the east abutment section. 

  • 3700 bolts are required to join everything together.

  • 250tonnesof steel will be used to make the bridge beams and bracing. 

  • The bridge deck is being made with 68 precast slabs supplied byStresscretein Ōtaki. 

  • Two layers of reinforcing supplied by Fletcher Reinforcing in Levin will connect these slabs onto the bridge beams with 200m3of concrete supplied by Firth inŌtaki, which uses sand and gravel from the Ōtaki River. 

  • The bridge will span the shared path, rail corridor and all expressway lanes with no support in the middle.

  • Beams are twometreshigh 

  • The bridge will include a shared path on one side and a footpath on the other.

  • It replaces the need for a rail level crossing, making it safer for road users.

The crane at work on the Rāhui bridge site, lifting the first of the huge beams into place. 

Photo: Ian Carson 


Crane wows kids on way to bridge


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