Bridge strengthening allows bigger, heavier loads, increasing efficiency for local industry and enhancing growth in the region
With the growth of commerce and the weight of loads being transported, the Kuripapango Bridge on Taihape Road needed strengthening after regulation changes required roads and bridges to accommodate greater vehicle weights and dimensions, making transport more efficient.
The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Rangitīkei District Counci, and Hastings District Council needed a solution to upgrade the Kuripapango Bridge to the new regulation. We began with a detailed inspection and assessment of the bridge, which included materials testing, structural analysis, weight and wind load impact—we even tested the strength of the bolts. Our investigations revealed the bridge wasn't constructed according to its original design. With this critical discovery, we re-evaluated its integrity and designed strengthening works including structural layout of members (primary load bearing components), new concrete deck panels, abutment widening, alterations to tie into a widened deck with new guardrail, and trusses.
The strengthened bridge now accommodates up to 62 tonnes, an increase from 42. This means forestry workers and other heavy vehicle drivers can take heavier loads over the bridge, reducing the number of trips and hours spent driving, and improving productivity for the community.
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