The Trafalgar Street Bridge upgrade will extend its life by 30 years. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Trafalgar Bridge closed for upgrade

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The Trafalgar Street Bridge was closed on Sunday for nearly two weeks to allow maintenance work to be carried out.

The concrete bridge, which is almost 100 years old, should be coming to the end of its serviceable life but the maintenance work is expected to extend the life by another 30 years at least.

A Nelson City Council spokesperson says a detailed assessment of the bridge structure and condition of the concrete was carried out in May and, although there was a reasonable amount of concrete carbonation, the report concluded that the bridge had a long life ahead of it if the concrete was well looked after and kept dry, particularly the deck.

The work will include replacing the road surface, improving drainage, and repairing and waterproofing the concrete deck.

This will mean the bridge will need to be closed to all vehicles until Friday October 18, 2019, with detours in place.

Pedestrian access is open for the duration of the closure.

NCC infrastructure group manager Alec Louverdis says concrete structures have a finite lifespan and those built almost a century ago would be expected to close to the end of their life by now.

“The good news is that the Trafalgar Bridge was constructed very well and has been looked after – which means that with a bit of maintenance work we can keep it in good condition and up to the job for at least the next 30 years,” he says.

“Improvements in road surfacing and concrete waterproofing technology will allow us to keep this iconic Nelson landmark part of our daily lives for many years to come.”