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Otara Bridge Repairs

Task Progress Summary

Updated 26 February 2024

They have started welding steel plates to the bottom of the horizontal beam of the bridge, with more strengthening plates to be welded to the top of the beam. When that is done, the plates will be treated inside and outside to prevent corrosion.

They'll also be cleaning and inspecting the vertical hangars for signs of fatigue.Work on the bridge is expected to be completed by the end of April, with the bridge being closed to vehicles between the hours of 9:00am and 3:00pm so contractors can work uninterrupted.

While work continues, the current restrictions still apply:

  • Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
  • One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
  • Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.

Updated 23 January 2024

Riverside Construction have manufactured the components and will commence work on site on the 13 February 2024. Work is then anticipated to be completed by 30 April 2024.

During this period the bridge will be closed between 9.00am and 3.00pm. This will allow the mail and school traffic to get through during this time.

Riverside will advise Emergency Services and work closely with them in the event of an emergency. Dates and times of closures will be advertised by Riverside in the local newspaper and on the radio. There will also be a letter drop and signage in place advising of the dates and times of the closures onsite.

The following restrictions continue to apply:

  • Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
  • One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
  • Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.


Updated 30 October 2023

The contract for the strengthening work to the Otara Bridge has now been awarded to Riverside Construction Ltd.

Riverside Construction will commence manufacturing the components between now and Christmas, and plan to be on site on the 29th of January 2024. Work is then anticipated to be completed by 15 April 2024. During this period the bridge will be closed between 9.00am and 2.00pm. This will allow the mail and school traffic to get through during this time.

Riverside will advise Emergency Services and work closely with them in the event of an emergency. Dates and times of closures will be advertised by Riverside in the local newspaper and on the radio. There will also be a letter drop and signage in place advising of the dates and times of the closures onsite.

The following restrictions continue to apply:

  • Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
  • One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
  • Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.


Updated 25 October 2023

In January 2023 we were made aware of damage to the Otara Bridge, located approximately 3km north of Ohingaiti to the east of State Highway 1.

Manawatū District Council and Rangitīkei District Council are jointly undertaking a project to strengthen the Otara Bridge to restore it to its previous weight limit of 46 tonnes at 30 kph. This strengthening will be achieved by reinforcing the trusses at both upstream and downstream sides of the bridge. The existing top chord will be strengthened by welding plates on the top and bottom flanges over the 104m span.

An open invitation for tenders was put on Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) on 2 October.

Tenders close at Manawatū District Council electronically via GETS on 19 October at 4:00pm.

Once the contract is awarded, the contractor will provide a programme which can then be communicated to users of the bridge.

While the strengthening work is being undertaken there will be an opportunity to do further in-situ testing of the hangars to determine a replacement programme for the 2024-27 financial years.


9 October 2023

  • The following works are planned for Oct – Nov 2023
    WSP peer review under consideration, and response being formed by GHD.
    Strengthening works to posted gross 100%.
    If practical, the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.
  • The following restrictions continue to apply:
    Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
    One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
    Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.

2 October 2023

  • The following works are completed Sept 2023:
    The following works are planned for Oct – Nov 2023
    Tender for bridge strengthening works. Tenders planned to close 19 Oct 2023.
    WSP peer review under consideration, and response being formed by GHD.
    Strengthening works to posted gross 100%.
    If practical, the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.
  • The following restrictions continue to apply:
    Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
    One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
    Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.

Otara Bridge Reopened for use 15 September 23-Amended.

Updated 15 September 23.

Otara bridge will remain closed until 2pm on Friday 15 September and then reopen with the below restrictions:

From 2pm on Friday 15 September:The following restrictions continue to apply:Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridgeOne vehicle to cross the bridge at a timeVehicles to travel central to the bridge
Second Temporary Closure of Otara Bridge 11-15 September to Undertake further Bridge Repairs.

Update - 11 September 2023


Council wishes to advise that Otara bridge on Otara Road will now be closed from Monday 11 September - Friday 15 September 2023. The closure is expected to be between the hours of 9.00am until 2.00pm. However, should the works be delayed by factors outside of the contractors control the bridge will need to remain closed until the repair is completed, including overnight.Should weather delay the works they will start on the next suitable day.

If you have any queries, please email infrastructure@mdc.govt.nz

15 August 2023


Council wishes to advise that Otara bridge on Otara Road will be closed on Monday 28 August 2023. The closure is expected to be from 9.00am until 2.00pm. However, should the works be delayed by factors outside of the contractors control the bridge will need to remain closed until the repair is completed, including overnight.

Should weather delay the works they will start on the next suitable day. If you have any queries, please email infrastructure@mdc.govt.nz

04 September 2023

  • The following works are underway Sept 2023:
    Riverside Construction Ltd completing bridge repair works.
    GHD to undertake construction monitoring of bridge repair work.
    Interpretation and analysis of lab results to be released from week starting 04 Sept.
    WSP peer review continuing.
    Replace the damaged section of top chord.
    The following works are planned for Oct – Nov 2023
  • Strengthening works to posted gross 100%.
  • If practical, the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.

  • The following restrictions continue to apply:
    Bridge closures in line with Riverside traffic management plan.
    Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
    One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
    Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.
  • GHD will confirm restrictions that apply after repair work has been completed.

25 August 2023

  • Otara Bridge Repair Task progress summary:

    The following works are planned for Aug 2023:
    Interpretation and analysis of lab results: internal review finalised next week.
    WSP peer review continuing.
    Riverside Construction Ltd to conduct bridge repair works. Planned start date is 28 Aug 2023
    for two weeks.
    GHD to undertake construction monitoring of bridge repair work.
    The following works are planned for Aug – Sept 2023:

    Riverside Construction Ltd to complete bridge repair works.
    Peer review of analysis and repair design by WSP.
    Replace the damaged section of top chord.
    If practical the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.
    The following restrictions continue to apply:
    Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
    One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
    Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.

21 August 2023

  • The following works are planned for Aug 2023:
    Interpretation and analysis of lab results: draft complete this week, internal review next week.
    WSP peer review continuing.
    Riverside Construction Ltd to conduct bridge repair works. Planned start date is 28 Aug 2023 for two weeks.
    GHD to undertake construction monitoring of bridge repair work.
  • The following works are planned for Aug – Sept 2023:
    Riverside Construction Ltd to complete bridge repair works.
    Peer review of analysis and repair design by WSP.
    Replace the damaged section of top chord.
    Strengthening works to posted gross 100%.
    If practical the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.
  • The following restrictions continue to apply:
    Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
    One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
    Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.


      11 August 2023

      • The following works are planned for Aug – Sept 2023:
        Peer review of analysis and repair design by WSP.
        Replace the damaged section of top chord.
        Tender for bridge strengthening works.
        Strengthening works to posted gross 100%.

        If practical the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile. GHD have completed a survey of the bridge longitudinal profile as part of the current works and identified an opportunity to make further adjustments to the longitudinal profile to improve the ride.

        The following restrictions continue to apply:


        Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
        One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.

        Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.
        • 4 August 2023:

          The following works are planned for Aug – Sept 2023:
          Peer review of analysis and repair design by WSP.
          Replace the damaged section of top chord. MDC / RDC to engage Riverside Construction on receipt of quote to complete works.
          Tender for bridge strengthening works.
          Strengthening works to posted gross 100%.
          If practical the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile. GHD have completed a survey of the bridge longitudinal profile as part of the current works and identified an opportunity to make further adjustments to the longitudinal profile to improve the ride.
          • The following restrictions continue to apply:
          • Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
          • One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
            Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.

          28 July 2023

          The following works are planned for July - Aug 2023:

          • Peer review of analysis and repair design by WSP.
          • Replace the damaged section of top chord.
          • Tender for bridge strengthening works.
          • Strengthening works to posted gross 100%.
          • If practical the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.

          The following restrictions continue to apply:

          • Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
          • One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
          • Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.

          23 July 2023

          The following works are planned for Aug – Sept 2023:

          • Peer review of analysis and repair design by WSP.
          • Replace the damaged section of top chord.
          • Tender for bridge strengthening works.
          • Strengthening works to posted gross 100%.
          • If practical the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.

          The following restrictions continue to apply:

          • Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
          • One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
          • Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.


          13 July 2023

          The following works are planned for July - Aug 2023:

          • Complete analysis with information from hanger lab testing.

          The following works are planned for July – Sept 2023:

          • Peer review of analysis and repair design by WSP.
          • Replace the damaged section of top chord.
          • Tender for bridge strengthening works.
          • Strengthening works to posted gross 100%.
          • If practical the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.

          The following restrictions continue to apply:

          • Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
          • One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
          • Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.


          7 July 2023

          Otara Bridge Repair Task progress summary:

          The following works are planned for July - Aug 2023:

          • Five remaining hangers are being tested in the lab.

          The following works are planned for Aug – July 2023:

          • Peer review of analysis and repair design by WSP.
          • Replace the damaged section of top chord.
          • Strengthening works to posted gross 100%.
          • If practical the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.

          The following restrictions continue to apply:

          • Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
          • One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
          • Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.


          30 June 2023

          Otara Bridge Repair Task progress summary:

          The following activities are underway in May - June 2023:

          • Five remaining hangers are being tested in the lab. Tensile and optical fractography testing has been completed, SEM fractography and report results will be started next week.
          • The bridge repair design is under internal review at GHD, a draft report will be ready for client review on Tuesday ahead of peer review with WSP.
          • There is an increase to the estimated fee which will be discussed during our next face-to-face meeting on Tuesday.

          The following works are to be carried out in June - Aug 2023:

          • Complete analysis with information from hanger lab testing and bridge survey.
          • Investigate strengthening the top chord to determine a practicable posting limit.
          • Peer review of analysis and repair design by WSP.
          • Replace the damaged section of top chord. This will require a contractor engagement to complete works.
          • If practical the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.

          The following restrictions continue to apply:

          • Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
          • One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
          • Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.


          Otara Bridge Repair Task progress summary:

          26 June 2023

          The following activities are underway in May - June 2023:

          • Five remaining hangers are being tested in the lab. Awaiting results from first hanger being tested.
          • The bridge repair design finalised this week and under internal review at GHD, likely to have draft methodology in the coming days for peer review with WSP.

          The following works are to be carried out in June - Aug 2023:

          • Complete analysis with information from hanger lab testing and bridge survey.
          • Investigate strengthening the top chord to determine a practicable posting limit.
          • Peer review of analysis and repair design by WSP.
          • Replace the damaged section of top chord. This will require a contractor engagement to complete works.
          • If practical the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.

          The following restrictions continue to apply:

          • Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
          • One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
          • Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.
          16 June 2023
          • Contractor work on the bridge has concluded for hanger removal/replacement. Further work will be required once repair design has been peer reviewed and tendered.
          • Five remaining hangers were delivered to the lab 16 Jun 2023. The lab will confirm whether the samples taken are suitable for testing, due to method of extraction.
          • The bridge repair design is underway, likely to have draft methodology in the coming weeks for peer review with WSP.

          The following works are to be carried out in June - Aug 2023:

          • Complete analysis with information from hanger lab testing and bridge survey.
          • Investigate strengthening the top chord to determine a practicable posting limit.
          • Peer review of analysis and repair design by WSP.
          • Replace the damaged section of top chord. This will require a contractor engagement to complete works.
          • If practical the bridge longitudinal camber will be adjusted to its original profile.

          The following restrictions continue to apply:

          • Weight limit of six tonnes and speed limit posted on the bridge.
          • One vehicle to cross the bridge at a time.
          • Vehicles to travel central to the bridge.

          In addition:

          • No further bridge closures until repair and strengthening design has been finalised. No safety incidents were reported during the bridge works – thanks to the local residents for their patience and understanding.