McConnell Dowell Constructors of Auckland has won the design and construction contract from NZ Transport Agency for the new two-lane Kawarau Falls Bridge on SH6 near Queenstown. The company has teamed up with bridge design engineers Novare Design of Wellington.
Transport Agency senior project engineer Phil Dowsett says McConnell Dowell recently very successfully completed two new bridges over the Waitaki River near Kurow for the Transport Agency.
“They will now utilise their team based in Christchurch including some of those people who worked on the Waitaki Bridges.”
Funding for the Kawarau Bridge was brought forward in the government’s announcement in June last year to accelerate a package of regionally-important state highway projects.
“The completed project will not only eliminate the delays at the existing one-lane bridge but also improve resilience of the state highway link from Queenstown to Southland and Milford Sound,” says Phil.
McConnell Dowell will complete the detailed design so that construction work on the bridge structure can start at the end of this year. In the interim there will be establishment and some preparatory work undertaken on the site.
The value of the contract is $21.9 million with contract completion in the third quarter of 2017.
Phil says the target is to open the new bridge before the busy winter 2017 season. McConnell Dowell will then concentrate on making the adjacent existing one-lane historic bridge fit for purpose as a walking and cycling route as part of the Queenstown Trails network.
This article was first published in the October 2015 issue of NZ Local Government Magazine.