Opening of the Otara Suspension Bridge

February, 2019

The Otara Suspension Bridge, located 2km off State Highway 1 near Ohingaiti was officially reopened on Tuesday 5 February in a special ceremony with members of the public, Council staff and local Councillors.

The bridge spans across the Rangitikei River at a height of 10.2m above the river bed. It was constructed in 1962 and is a boundary bridge shared by both Manawatu and Rangitikei District Councils.

Mayor Helen Worboys said the Otara Bridge is one of three crossing points over the Rangitikei River in the northern part of the Manawatū District and provides vital access for the local communities.

“The upgrade will support economic growth and enable development in the district as the bridge can now provide access for heavy vehicles to service local farming operations,” she said.

In April 2017 following a routine inspection, the bridge displayed signs of wear and tear that included broken welds, loosened and missing bolts and unexpectedly large vertical deflections under vehicle loading.

With heavy structural maintenance on the Otara Bridge already programmed for 2020-21, Council staff immediately reconfigured the proposed LTP bridge budgets at both Councils to bring forward the works to 2018-19.

In mid-2018, strengthening and heavy maintenance repairs to achieve full Class 1 loading were completed, in addition to some structural maintenance and safety improvements.

With only two road closures required, the project was completed with great success by Christmas 2018 in the timeframe and in budget of $550,000 + GST committed.

“This is a great example of the Council responding to an issue on a key network and prioritising expenditure on core infrastructure to ensure the needs of the local community are met,” General Manager Infrastructure Hamish Waugh said.

Pictured: Mayor Andy Watson (RDC), Mayor Helen Worboys (MDC), Jack Baker (local land owner)

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