Below Rail Infrastructure, Engineering, Freight Rail

Bridge to be demolished after Kaikoura quake

The first major demolition project is about to get underway as part of KiwiRail’s program to bring the South Island’s Main North Line back into service following last year’s Kaikoura earthquake.

Bridge 90, near Hundalee in North Canterbury, will be taken down and replaced with a temporary bridge, KiwiRail said on February 21.

KiwiRail is working with its recovery partner NCTIR (North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery).

The bridge was severely damaged in the earthquake last year.

KiwiRail network services GM Todd Moyle said the bridge would be demolished using a ‘nibbler’, similar to that used to remove Wellington buildings damaged in the same quake.

“A temporary bridge using steel spans KiwiRail keeps in reserve for such emergencies will be built on the existing foundations after the damaged superstructure and piers are removed,” Moyle explained.

“The temporary bridge will be suitable for all types of trains.

“Using the temporary spans is part of KiwiRail’s push to re-open the Main North Line as quickly as possible.”

Moyle described the Main North line as “a vital link” in KiwiRail’s network.

“Before the quake KiwiRail was moving 1 million tonnes of freight over the line each year,” he said.

“The partnerships we have in the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance with NZTA and other alliance members are really paying off.

“The work on Bridge 90 is important to the rebuilding programme because it will allow work trains to travel north with equipment for other large projects.”

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