1999
Otira Viaduct opens


Designed by Beca, the 445m long, two-lane, concrete box girder bridge was constructed at an altitude of 800m in the Southern Alps of New Zealand and near Arthur’s Pass, providing an important crossing between the east and west coasts of the South Island. The bridge was built within a high earthquake area, a valley full of debris containing rocks up to ten meters in diameter, a highly fractured area saturated with water. It was also being constructed within a national park. To this day Gavin Cormack rates it as the most difficult bridge site he has ever encountered with the specialist Swiss peer reviewer amongst the few to have built bridges in similar conditions.

 

The result – a four-span viaduct with central spans of 134m – the longest span concrete bridge in New Zealand.

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