Lack of tenders to delay bridge repair
BY JULIA WADE
Repair work on one of Mangawhai’s important bridges has seen a setback due to a lack of tenders from construction companies possibly delaying repairs until the end of the year.
Insley Street bridge was deemed unsafe at the end of 2018 after structural defects – caused by age, sea water and corroding concrete – were discovered.
For safety reasons, a single lane traffic light system has been put in place since early 2019, while Kaipara District Council (KDC) began the process of tendering repair work to interested contractors.
However council only received two submissions after the process closed on March 18 and, after being evaluated by KDC engineering staff both have been stamped ‘non-conforming’, leaving council no choice but to re-tender the contract.
Prior to re-tendering though, council’s engineers held discussions with the wider structural engineering industry to find the reasons for such a lack of interest in the project, with required timeframes unachievable as well as pressures from other ongoing Northland projects being identified.
The tender has been adjusted and engineers are confident that additional contractors will now be attracted to make submissions.
However, as a result of the revised timetable, the complex nature of the project, and significant work required, it could mean that construction may end up running through to December 2019, a KDC spokesperson says.
“Obviously, this is not an ideal situation and poses some inconvenience to the regular users of Mangawhai Road and those travelling into Mangawhai,” he said. “However safety of all road users must take precedence and the single lane/traffic light system is the safest way the bridge can operate in its current state without closing it completely. Going forward there is a procurement process that needs to happen to ensure an open, transparent process has been followed.”
Council say they will endeavour to keep Mangawhai residents updated on the progress of the tendering process and expected work dates.
To read more visit kaipara.govt.nz/bridges
Insley Street bridge repairs may not be completed until the end of this year due to tender delays and the amount of work required. PHOTO/Julia Wade