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BRIDGE ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION

The Abseil Access team are proud to offer our clients a turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) service package for swing and suspension bridges. This specialist bridge package has been refined and continuously improved over 75 bridges to date, both nationally and internationally. Our range of capabilities incorporate bridge design & engineering, approvals, surveying, specialist and rope access, drilling, anchoring, grouting and erection.

Testimony from our clients include:

"It was a pleasure working with the Abseil Access bridge team. They looked after every aspect of the design, engineering, consenting and build and our bridge was completed and signed off within budget and on time. I would recommend them to anyone”

John O’Neill - Network Manager - Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

“Abseil Access has been a chosen contractor for bridge building for the Department of Conservation since 2006. I personally have had the pleasure with working with them on unique projects like the 4 Paparoa track bridges, the 2 Westland Wilderness trail bridges, 8 bridges on the Heaphy track and many others in South Westland and Fiordland national parks. Their team of guys are extremely capable, hardworking and produce great results."

Jonathan Calder - Engineering Manager - Pou Matua Mātanga Kaihanga - Department of Conservation - Te Papa Atawhai

BRIDGE ENGINEERING & DESIGN

We work closely with the client to understand the project requirements to produce aesthetic bridge designs matching these specifications. Our standard bridge designs suit widths up to 2.5m and loadings of up to 4kPa ‘unlimited pedestrian’. Our in house modelling experts produce 3D visualisations of the finished bridge structure along with engineering calculations to assist our clients in visualising the final build before signing off.

We pride ourselves in producing designs and bridges that are economic to build, fit for purpose, and durable to ensure client satisfaction. Abseil Access pull together our range of geotechnical experts, trade services, specialist access aswell as our project management and engineering capabilities to provide world class bridge EPC services.

Abseil Access has completed the end-to-end process of design, engineering, local approvals, and construction of swing bridge and suspension bridges across some of the most stunning parts of New Zealand, PNG, Vanuatu and you’ll find an Abseil Access bridge in Chile, South America !

BRIDGE CONSENTS & APPROVALS

Local approvals that ensure a bridge’s design and engineering complies with the NZ building codes is a key stage in a successful bridge project and can be the difference in ensuring project timelines can be met. As part of the Abseil access turnkey bridge package, we offer a comprehensive service to navigate and attain the necessary approvals to enable the bridge construction to commence including:


  • Develop Site Plans Showing Locality of the Structure
  • Geological and Hydrology Assessments
  • Design Certification by CPENG/ Registered Architect (PS1, PS2)
  • Designed to Standards
  • Procurement of Resource and Building Consents

  • Proposed Construction Monitoring of the Construction by CPENG
  • Independent QA/QC Systems During Construction
  • Site Safety Management Plans
  • Site Monitoring the Construction Work
  • Issuing of PS4 at Completion

DRILLING, ANCHORING, AND GROUTING

Abseil Access’s has over 20 years specialising in the full range of rope access, geotechnical assessments, drilling, and blasting services. These specialisations seamlessly complement our bridge construction department and projects.

Our fleet of drill rigs and top-hammer systems that can be implemented by land, air and sea, meaning no matter how challenging the bridge build location, we can confidently anchor into any ground type, excavate ground, and install concrete anchors where necessary.

Abseil Access are also certified for use of high explosives under EPA Class 1.1 and Nonex (low explosives) under EPA class 1.4. Our shot firers are certified and meet the new Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017. This capability is a further value add where gorges require careful profile blasting as part of the bridge construction project. Areas of specialist expertise include:

BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION

Abseil Access provides multi-skilled rope access, bridge construction teams who over the 75 builds to date, have become world leaders in this field. Our site leadership liaise closely with the bridge engineering team, client, and other bridge stakeholders to ensure safe and efficient delivery of each project. Our rope access bridge teams are full conversant with New Zealand codes & standards and have a depth of experience and skill that is unparalleled from site set up through to project completion.


  • Specialist Access & Rope Access
  • Helicopter Access & Supply
  • Rescue and Access Boats
  • Tower Construction and Erection
  • Main Cable Installation
  • Rigging and Lifting Specialists

  • Carpentry & Timber Install
  • Staining & Treatment
  • On Site Living Capability
  • Environmental Management
  • Load Testing to Specification
  • Quality Assurance & Quality Control

CASE STUDIES

HEAPHY RIVER SUSPENSION BRIDGE

Abseil Access safely constructed a new bridge crossing the Heaphy River near the Lewis Hut after the old bridge was washed away in a flood. In order to construct a replacement prior to the summer season, the DOC tendered out the super-structure construction only.

With 150m of deck, the bridge is one of the longest suspended decks in NZ. It spans the riverbank flood zones and arches upwards mid-span to allow for a high-water clearance. Due to limited site access 25 tons of materials and components were helicoptered to the site.

NILE RIVER BRIDGE

The Kawatiri Coastal Trail is a picturesque 55km heritage trail from Charleston to Westport. Abseil Access has left its iconic stamp on the trail with the construction of the Waitakere/Nile River Bridge, located just east of the awe-inspiring Constant Bay. Our bridge team conducted the design and completed the construction of this 55m suspension bridge against this panoramic backdrop. Key deliverables included Design and Engineering of Bridge, Aesthetic Design and Integration into the Surrounding Landscape, Width of 1500mm & 55 meter Length, Suitable for Cyclists Passing in Both Directions, Meeting the NZ Cycle Trail Code Grade 2, Rope Access Bridge Construction Service.

SPECULARITE BRIDGE, LAKE DUNSTAN TRAIL

The Lake Dunstan trail is part of the cycle trails throughout Central Otago. Abseil Access won the tender to design and build the 86m Specularite Bridge. All materials had to be flown in by helicopter, including the pneumatic drill rig, compressor and grout plant.

The main cable anchors were drilled 9m into the hard rock to provide a working load capacity of over 300kN. The main cables were designed to support 15 tons of deck, a 240kN live load, or a snow load of 25tons and wind cables designed to stabilise the deck in winds up to 230km/hr.

MARTINS CREEK, KAWATIRI TRAIL

Abseil Access won the tender to design and build the 50 meter bridge that crosses Martins Creek, a small tidal estuary cutting across the Kawatiri Coastal Trail. Access to the site is complicated by the tidal nature of the surroundings and wetland location, but our team took extra precautions to impact the environment as little as possible.

The bridge’s main cable anchors were concrete, poured using a helicopter. All fasteners, plates, dropper cables and wind cables are 316 stainless steel, and all timber is H4 treated to meet a design life of 25 years minimum in a harsh coastal environment.

SUICIDE SLIP BRIDGES (3), OLD GHOST ROAD

The Old Ghost Rd, which follows the Mokohinui River, suffered major slips through the gorge section. When the trail was upgraded, 3 bridges were required to provide safe access.

Abseil Access had the unique combination of design capability, adaptive engineering, explosive expertise, rope access, cliff face drilling technology, and bridge building experience to provide a safe solution to this hazardous section of gorge. The bridges are all rated for 2 person and passed the load test of 750kg.

PORT VILA, VANUATU

Abseil Access were engaged to provide a turnkey solution for a 120m long swing bridge over a spectacular gorge in Vanuatu. The design and engineering of the bridge was completed by our NZ team and all of the bridge’s components were manufactured and shipped from NZ. The full scope of work included: Design and Engineering of the Bridge, Load testing for 20 Persons, Width of 900mm and Suitable for Families with Children, Construction Support and management of Local Contractors and rope Access construction. The project safely and successfully delivered within 4 months.

BAY OF PLENTY - URETARA STREAM

Abseil Access completed a bridge design to the western bay of plenty district council incorporating an artistic feature. The 45m suspension span has a 1.8m wide deck, meeting the 4kPa unlimited pedestrian loading. 40m3 of concrete was poured to ensure solid foundations in the swampy ground. Artistic features included historic jarrah hardwood tower poles, disused rail irons were used for the tower bracing. to give a representative feel for the historic rail line. Heartwood from recovered swamp totara for the handrails, Heartwood swamp totara inserts The handrail balustrades were CNC carved to reflect the local native flora and fauna.

MACPHERSON CREEK, WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

Abseil Access completed a bridge design to the Western Bay of Plenty District Council, incorporating an artistic feature. The 45m suspension span has a 1.8m wide deck, meeting the 4kPa unlimited pedestrian loading. 40m3 of concrete was poured to ensure solid foundations in the swampy ground. Artistic features included historic jarrah hardwood tower poles, and disused rail irons were used for the tower bracing to give a representative feel for the historic rail line. Heartwood from recovered swamp totara was used for the handrails, and were CNC carved to reflect the local native flora and fauna.

Capability Statement

Reference Project

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