Beechwood Lane Bridge

  • Project typeLand transport
  • Project value$260,000
  • Contractor nameBridge it NZ
  • Completion Date17 June 2024
BLB2.jpg
Key information

A project is underway to repair and refurbish the old Beechwood Lane Bridge.

Stage 1 [complete]

Construct a scaffold structure over the top of the existing Beechwood Lane Bridge deck, separate from the existing structure.

Stage 2 [changed]

Formerly: Disconnect the services connected to the Beechwood Lane Bridge.

This stage has changed because the cost of removing the telecommunications services was prohibitive, so will not proceed. 

Stage 3

The original plan was to lift the old Howe Truss structure out in one piece and move it off site for assessment and restoration. This stage has now changed as we won’t be removing the telecommunications services. The new plan is to strengthen and restore the bridge on site.

We are currently working with a specialised contractor, finalising the methodology and work programme which we're expecting to start early February 2024. Once we're ready to commence work, we will update the proposed timeline. 

If you have any questions about these works, please get in touch with our Customer Service team at askus@uhcc.govt.nz or call (04) 527 2169.  

Stage 4 

Our work to strengthen and restore the bridge will begin on Monday 4 March with preparation of the worksite.

The bridge will then be closed from Monday 11 March for around 15 days.

Contractors will install security fencing on either side of the bridge and the existing temporary scaffold bridge will be removed.

Repair work will begin on the Thursday 14 March with the replacement of the deck and handrail. We will then start to restore the timber.

A shuttle vehicle will be operating between 8am and 5pm for pedestrians and cyclists on weekdays. On Saturdays, the shuttle will operate from 8am to 12pm and Sunday 8am to 5pm.  

Stage 5

Our work to strengthen and restore Beechwood Lane Bridge is continuing.

In April, we replaced the upstream truss and installed new handrails. During this work we discovered the extent of timber decay was worse than expected.

We will need to carryout similar restoration work to the downstream side of the bridge. We now expect this project to be completed by mid-June.

The bridge remains open for public use.

This restoration work will ensure the integrity of this historic bridge for years to come.

We appreciated the community’s patience while we finish this project.

Bridge history

The Beechwood Lane pedestrian and cycle bridge was the third of four bridges constructed in this vicinity between 1840 and 1928.

The single span timber truss supported on concrete spread footings was constructed during the early 1900s on the original old main highway, the portion of the road now known as Beechwood Lane. 

Records shows the footings were completed in 1902 with the bridge opened in 1904.

Final construction of the new modern, wider fourth bridge during the late 1920s on the current State Highway 2 alignment permanently replaced the Beechwood Lane Bridge apart from a brief opening to allow for flood damage repair on the new bridge in 1939. 

Project development

The replacement of the Beechwood Lane Bridge was first proposed in 2014 as part of the Long Term Plan asset renewal programme. The original decision to replace the bridge was based on the high cost of restoration or repair when compared with the cost of replacement. 

In late 2017 questions were raised about the historic value of the bridge. A comprehensive heritage assessment report was presented to Council in June 2020. Based on this assessment, the bridge was not considered an archaeological structure or site in terms of the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act (2014). 

The June 2020 report to Council requested confirmation for the replacement of the Beechwood Lane Bridge in the 2020/21 financial year. As a result of the increased replacement cost, Council determined that the options should be reviewed in more detail to ensure that the most appropriate and cost effective option was selected. Council also requested that the repair or retention of the existing bridge is given more consideration and along with others to be presented for further consideration before making a decision to proceed. 

A further options report was presented in September 2020 seeking approval from Council to proceed with a preferred option. A number of options were presented and after deliberation Council instructed that the bridge be restored using some of the existing timber (if possible) and replacing the redundant wooden elements with similar material as well as retaining the existing abutments, even if this was not in a structural capacity.  

In order to maintain access for residents of Beechwood Lane and the cycling link for the historic Remutaka Rail Trail, a temporary scaffold bridge will be in place while works are completed on the existing bridge. 

Heritage assessment report July 2020(PDF, 4MB)

Location

Beechwood Lane, Te Marua   View Map

Google Map