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Ruakituri Road to close for three weeks

Ruakituri Road will be closed to vehicles for around three weeks while the Doughboy Bridge is strengthened.

The closure will take place from 8am on Monday, January 18, until 5pm on Thursday, February 4.

Residents will be able to take the detour route which is via Erepeti Road/Ohuka Road and State Highway 38, which will add at least an hour each way to the trip.

Wairoa District Council interim chief executive Kitea Tipuna acknowledged it was a long closure and will cause disruption for people living past the bridge.

“We have timed the repair to have the least disruption possible by doing the work outside of the school year and completing the job before the long Waitangi Weekend.

“A pedestrian bridge constructed from scaffolding will be in place. However, people using the bridge will be walking through an active construction site and should use the pedestrian access for essential reasons only.”

The Doughboy Bridge was assessed under Council's bridge strengthening and assessment programme which was funded through the Provincial Growth Funding.

The bridge deck was identified as not having the required strength to meet the changes around HPMV (high productivity motor vehicles) ratios.

The assessment and re-decking of the bridge would cost around $260,000 and will be paid for through the Provincial Growth Fund funding at no cost to ratepayers.

Mr Tipuna said this was a long closure with zero access over the time period. He thanked residents for their patience, acknowledging it would be an inconvenience, but it was also important the structure was operating at the required safety levels.