Waiho River Bailey bridge on track for reopening Friday

NZ Transport Agency
April 8, 2019

The NZ Transport Agency says South Westland’s Waiho River Bailey bridge should be ready to open this Friday, 12 April. The exact time cannot be confirmed until later this week.

“The Army engineers and the Downer team have made good progress dismantling the old bridge sections this weekend and last week,” says Pete Connors, System Manager for the Transport Agency. “The Fulton Hogan team and others have also worked hard on the north side, with new piles driven and other key work completed.

“At this stage we believe the main launch of the new structure will occur on Tuesday this week, ahead of some forecast *wet weather. The Bailey will not be open to traffic for at least a couple of days after it arrives at the north side of the river as the bridge needs to be jacked, rocking rollers removed, new permanent bearings installed, and the whole structure safely fastened in place. The approaches also need to be completed once the bridge is positioned.”

Delays after opening

After the bridge is open to traffic, there is more work to do: sealing the approaches, reinstating guardrail, the pedestrian walkway and other work which will involve closures of up to an hour.

Open for business in South Westland

Mr Connors reminded people that the South Westland townships of Fox, Franz Josef, and Haast, are open for business and welcome visitors from each side of the Waiho in the lead up to the reconnection at the Waiho River.

  • Time lapse video: Please see the project page for updates and travel advice, photos of the work underway and time lapse video of work this week. This will be added to every day. The camera is on the north side of the river but points across to the Bailey bridge construction side.
  • Both Franz Josef and Fox Glacier townships as well as Haast are open. People can still access the glaciers via helicopter/ flight once they are in the glacier villages.
  • MetService Westland forecast this week: https://www.metservice.com/rural/westland

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey this summer. Keep up to date with:


For more information please contact:

Frances Adank

Media Manager

NZ Transport Agency

M: 021 705 613

E: Frances.Adank@nzta.govt.nz

W: www.nzta.govt.nz

Photo credit: NZ Defence Force