A more accessible and ‘flexible’ bridge offers innovative solutions to maintain Wellington’s water supply in a seismic event
The Flume Bridge in Kaitoke Regional Park provides much more than a crossing for park users, it also supports a water pipeline conveying approximately 50 per cent of Greater Wellington’s raw water supply. Nearing the end of its lifecycle, and located in the seismically active Wellington Fault zone, Wellington Water knew the pipe needed an upgrade to keep water flowing in the future.
Our role would be to design and deliver a new bridge and pipeline and oversee construction. Along with seismic activity, the location’s challenging geology presents fractured rock and shear zones. In response, our team designed an unconstrained flexible network arch bridge, which can move freely in multiple directions on its abutments while carrying a new ductile iron pipe. Specially sourced from Japan, it’s the largest pipe of this type to be used in New Zealand.
Even in a large earthquake, the sympathetic movement of the bridge and the ductile pipe will allow the water supply to be maintained. Not only are we future-proofing Wellington’s water supply in a major earthquake but the bridge also includes improvements for accessing the bridge deck, so those using mobility devices can also enjoy stunning views from the bridge.
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