It's prime time for bridge building on the two biggest sections of the Waikato Expressway.

The wet winter conditions have forced big earth-moving machinery to take a break, Transport Agency spokesman Peter Simcock said.

"We can't do a lot of earthworks over winter, but the wet weather doesn't stop the structure crews on both these sites."

The beams go on the Ryburn Rd/railway bridge in mid-July

The beams go on the Ryburn Rd/railway bridge in mid-July.

Work is underway on nine of the 16 bridges required to complete the 22km Hamilton section. 

And six of the nine bridges on the 15.2km Huntly section are also being built.

The Hamilton and Huntly sections are both set to open in 2020 and will be the final pieces in the 102km expressway, that will stretch from south of Cambridge to the Southern Motorway at Bombay.

A big milestone for the Hamilton project team should come in October, when the first bridge - the Gordonton Rd bridge - opens, Simcock said.

About the same time, the State Highway 26 Morrinsville Rd bridge will also open.

These bridges, like most on the Hamilton section, take traffic over the four-lane expressway.

Four bridges will see expressway traffic go over a local road – at Ruakura Rd/railway line/Ryburn Rd, Powells Rd, Pardoa Boulevard and Puketaha Rd.

Beam lifting at the railway/Ryburn Rd bridge will see daytime road closures and detours on Ruakura Rd from July 15 to 17 from 6am to 7pm each day.

The Huntly section crew are also making good progress.

The biggest bridge will be the northern interchange rail bridge where the mechanically stabilised earth walls and pre-load material is in place. The superstructure work will start next year.

Stream bridge construction is at varying stages over Mangawara, Whangamaire, Komakorau and Mangatoketoke, as well as at Ralph Rd.

The Whangamaire Stream bridge deck pour required 95 trucks to bring in 520 cubic metres of concrete.

The final three bridges on the Huntly project are at McVie Rd, Waring Rd (where earth walls start later this year) and Orini Rd (where earth walls start next year).


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