Press Release

February 04, 2015

Rapid bridge replacement the key to KiwiRail’s success


The East Coast Main Trunk (ECMT) line is one of New Zealand’s busiest freight routes. 

KiwiRail wanted to increase the amount that could be carried on the ECMT route, but an ailing rail bridge meant speed restrictions were slowing down the path to  success.

They appointed AECOM along with Novare Design to investigate options for renewing the bridge. Our team provided project management and construction observation for the project, working closely with stakeholders to ensure international shipping delays did not disrupt the project. The bridge changeover was completed within the scheduled 36-hour window, with minimal disruption to rail traffic.

The new bridge has twin-pile concrete piers and a weathering steel ballast tray design, meaning increased load capacity, less maintenance, and better track performance and reliability.  Speed restrictions on the bridge have now been lifted, and the whole-of-life cost has been reduced – leaving room for KiwiRail’s freight business to grow for years to come.

You can watch a time-lapse of the bridge replacement here.