Watch the timelapse video below of the bridge construction. The new Pyramid bridge across the Mataura River will be officially opened at a ceremony on Friday 26 June 2020.
The new bridge opens ahead of schedule and more than $2 million under the initial budget in what has been a remarkable project completion despite the setbacks of February’s floods and the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
A 50m section of the old bridge was washed away in February 2018, after flooding caused a build-up of debris against the wooden piers.
The new design passed its greatest test when it stood well clear of the February 2020 floodwaters. Gore District Council roading asset manager Peter Standring said “that was our biggest yahoo moment”.
Mr Standring attributed completion of the bridge ahead of time to the efficiencies of the construction team. “It’s quite a feat given the project has had to endure two civil defence emergencies – a flood and a pandemic,’’ he said.
An added challenge was that the 15 25.5-metre-long concrete beams were precast in Christchurch and individually trucked slowly to the site on the Riversdale-Pyramid-Otama road, about 5km east of Riversdale.
Gore District Council and Southland District Council collaborated on the project because the Pyramid bridge connects both districts.
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said it was great to have the project finished and be able to deliver a quality product, which he knew the community would be really pleased about.
The bridge also gave certainty around continuity of water supply to the Otama Rural Water Supply Scheme.
Mr Hicks paid tribute to the project management and work of Concrete Structures (NZ) Ltd in delivering the bridge ahead of schedule despite the challenges.
Southland District Mayor Gary Tong said the project had been a very successful collaboration between the two councils, NZ Transport Agency and Concrete Structures.
“Compared with the previous asset we shared with Gore this is a quality bridge that has already been, in part, tested by the flood event in February.
“I am sure that users will be very happy with the bridge,’’ he said.
The opening ceremony will be held at 2pm on Friday on the western side of the bridge. A small convoy of vintage cars will be the first vehicles across the bridge after the ribbon is cut.