Southern bridges take shape
Beams on the second of Bay Link's three bridges were successfully installed in July.
To enable construction of the new bridge at Te Maunga, State Highway 2 (SH2) was closed between Bayfair roundabout and the Te Maunga intersection during a weekend in July. During the closure, 10 reinforced concrete beams (each 26 metres long and weighing 47 tonnes) were placed across SH2 by a 350 tonne crane positioned in the middle of the state highway.
With the project team working day and night, placement of the bridge beams was completed ahead of schedule, allowing the early re-opening of the state highway and minimising the impact of the closure on motorists’ weekend travel.
Following placement of the beams, the concrete deck has since been poured. This involved 17 trucks carrying 100m3 of concrete, and 35 tonnes of reinforcing steel.
The SH2 bridge area will now lay dormant until the majority of expected earth settlement has occurred – a process which is anticipated to take around three months.
This is the second bridge to be constructed on the project in the last six months after the first bridge, spanning the East Coast Main Trunk railway line, was constructed in February. The settlement period for the area near the rail bridge is nearing completion, meaning work (on the final sections of the deck, kerbing, footpaths and barriers) will soon resume.
The entire interchange at Te Maunga (comprised of the SH2 bridge and the rail bridge) is anticipated to open this coming summer under temporary traffic management. The temporary signals currently located at Te Maunga will be decommissioned at this time.
Once operational, the interchange will carry all SH29A traffic to and from SH2, removing the need for motorists to cross the railway line at grade and improving traffic flow onto the Tauranga Eastern Link. When the project is completed, the finished interchange will transform the intersection of the two state highways and improve safety for all road users.
A third bridge (the Bayfair flyover) will span the Bayfair roundabout at the project’s northern end.
View timelapse footage of the construction of Bay Link’s first two bridges here.
1. Beams being installed on the SH2 bridge at Te Maunga in July
2. Beams being placed on the rail bridge at Te Maunga in February