Abseil Access won the contract to construct a new bridge crossing the Heaphy River near the Lewis Hut on the Heaphy Track (one of New Zealand’s Great Walks) after the old bridge was washed away in a flood. In order to construct a replacement prior to the summer season, the Department of Conservation tendered out the super-structure construction only.
With 150m of deck, the new bridge is one of the longest suspended decks in New Zealand. The main cables are supported by 11m high timber pole towers. The deck spans the riverbank flood zones and arches upwards mid-span to allow for a high water clearance. Due to limited access to the site, twenty-five tons of timber and stainless steel components were preprepared and flown into the site from Karamea. The five-person team completed construction in 14 days, well ahead of the projected timeframe.