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Remedial work to ‘lengthen lifespan’ of Sheraton bridge

Saturday 22 July 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Remedial work to ‘lengthen  lifespan’ of Sheraton bridge
Access to the Vaimaanga bridge was restricted to one way traffic during the construction phase which started last month. Normal traffic access resumed yesterday. Picture: MELINA ETCHES/23072001

The recent repair work on the Vaimaanga (Sheraton) bridge is expected to lengthen its lifespan while preparatory work for the construction of a new bridge is underway.

Construction work on the bridge, carried out by Civil Contractors Limited (CCL), commenced on June 27 and was completed yesterday.

Secretary of Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI) Elizabeth Wright-Koteka said repair work included installing a support structure to “lengthen the lifespan of the bridge”.

Access to the bridge was restricted to one way traffic during the construction phase.

Wright-Koteka refuted claims that the bridge was in critical condition, saying that the bridge was not intended to be reconstructed this year, but rather only to undergo maintenance work.

“During a routine assessment of the bridge, it was noted that the concrete spalling has deteriorated since the last assessment two years ago. It was then decided that the remedial works initially planned would change to suit the conditions of the bridge. To prevent further impact while the new support structures were being manufactured and installed, the bridge access was reduced to one lane,” Wright-Koteka said.

“There are none (bridge) in absolute critical condition. ICI has an annual bridge maintenance programme. In 2023, ICI has prioritised routine maintenance works on nine bridges.”

Wright-Koteka said the tender for the maintenance work was advertised in the local newspapers and on the government procurement portal from February 13-17, 2023.

“A number of bids were received and following the evaluation by the Tender Evaluation Committee, CCL was awarded the contract on 18 April 2023 with the contract amount of $293,000,” she said.

“The scope of works is to undertake maintenance on four bridges, one including Sheraton (Vaimaanga) bridge.”

Wright-Koteka added that ICI wishes to thank the public for their patience and adherence to the traffic safety measures for the past month, while maintenance work was carried out to the Vaimaanga bridge.

“The bridge is now strengthened and will resume its normal traffic access.”