View Full Version : NZ dump truck ferry

04-07-2019, 12:27 AM
A few weeks ago the Waiho River bridge was swept away in a flood. Before the wash-out it was a 26-minute drive on the highway between Franz Joseph Glacier on the north, and Fox Glacier further south. There are no inland detours -- unless you want to count the 16-hour drive which includes going over Haast Pass and Arthur's Pass; nobody would do that and stay sane.

I worked in the Mechanical Section of the NZ Ministry of Works from 1972-78. My colleagues in the Civil Section would have been working overtime to get a Bailey bridge as a temporary solution. MOW no longer exists, so it seems to be taking a little longer now.

Not to worry: Kiwi ingenuity will not be defeated! https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/111852077/dump-truck-ferry-carries-up-to-100-each-day-across-bridgeless-waiho-river

04-07-2019, 01:15 AM
They are ferrying kids to school across the river with helicopters.

Here's a picture of what they are dealing with : https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/386424/repaired-flood-damaged-waiho-bridge-should-reopen-in-a-week

04-07-2019, 03:08 AM
Probably cheaper to ferry the teachers :confused:

04-07-2019, 05:54 PM
yeah, us Kiwi's are pretty resourceful! The Army is assisting in fitting a Bailey Bridge at present, and it should be open for use by Friday!

04-07-2019, 06:34 PM
Probably cheaper to ferry the teachers :confused:

Government eh.

Dan Dubeau
04-07-2019, 07:49 PM
Setup a zipline for the kids. Who wouldn't want to start the school day with a zipline ride.

04-07-2019, 07:55 PM
Caulk up some of those storage containers and create a floating temporary bridge.

04-07-2019, 08:12 PM
Setup a zipline for the kids. Who wouldn't want to start the school day with a zipline ride.

who wouldn't want to start and end each day with a helicopter ride? ;)

04-07-2019, 08:53 PM
It's even better than having a pony..

04-08-2019, 06:19 PM
At about $500 per hour operating costs that is one very expensive ferry to run!

Mike Burch
04-11-2019, 10:43 PM
It has been closed down, alas.


04-11-2019, 11:02 PM
The dump truck looks like it is intended for work in a pit mine. There is a gold mine in the hills between Merrijigs and Reefton -- is that where it came from?

04-12-2019, 04:34 PM
I should have read the the article more carefully. It states that the dump truck was shipped down from Greymouth. I did not know that ships still sailed on the West Coast.

Mike Burch
04-12-2019, 07:46 PM
They don't, apart from the odd fishing boat. It's not uncommon to use the word "shipped" loosely, as a generic term for "transported".

04-12-2019, 11:59 PM
I thought of highway shipping, but thought it would not be practical. There used to be this road/rail bridge south of Hokitika -- I suppose that has now been replaced. I took this photo in 1975. Trains had the right-of-way.

https://oi168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/Hokitika%20bridgte_zpspangf11k.jpg (https://s168.photobucket.com/user/aostling/media/Hokitika%20bridgte_zpspangf11k.jpg.html)

04-13-2019, 01:17 AM
There is an old (~1922) steel bridge on Warren Road over the Loch Raven Watershed about 3/4 miles down the road from my house. It has now been closed for emergency repairs, so there is very little traffic in front of my house lately, and this will probably continue for several weeks or longer. It was similarly closed in the summer of 2016 while I was recuperating from spine surgery. It's good for me, because I can now safely work on cleaning up the trash, crumbling rock wall, and bushes along the shoulder of the road in front of my properties. But Warren Road is a major commuting route from I83 and York Road to the suburban McMansions up north.


Or just the video I downloaded:
http://enginuitysystems.com/pix/house/Warren_Road_Bridge_57342364_415729472337155_212307 736749146112_n.mp4

When I was in ROTC at Johns Hopkins 1966-1970 some of us went to Ft Belvoir and we built a Bailey Bridge.

There are quite few of them in service:

Close to me:


The Artful Bodger
04-13-2019, 01:36 AM
The bridge is open again!

Mike Burch
04-13-2019, 05:25 AM
A metal bridge deck! We don't see those around here. Is it lethal in the wet, Paul?

04-13-2019, 07:45 AM
The city of Lowell, MA where I grew up, straddles the Merrimack river. There were five bridges in the city crossing the river, but of course as the city and the number of cars grew, these became more and more crowded, so there was a plan put in place to add a sixth to ease access, particularly to the largest hospital in the city when coming from one of the more heavily used highways. A spot was chosen and after a bunch of false starts it was decided to install a temporary two lane Bailey type bridge until the funding and plans could be sorted for a larger permanent one.

The temporary bridge was installed in 1985 and is still there. Every election year there are plans announced that there is a study being done to install a permanent bridge, usually in 5 to 7 years. Last projection was 2026 if I recall. It's hilarious, because well, you just gotta laugh.

It also has a steel deck but it is coated with some sort of rough epoxy based material for traction. Every five years or so they close one half of the bridge to redo the surface treatment.

old mart
04-13-2019, 03:56 PM
It looks like the bridge deck is covered with wood in the photos. The dumper truck was transported 59 miles to reach the river, probably on an articulated truck (semi).

Mike Burch
04-13-2019, 05:58 PM
Yes, the deck is wooden, but the head honcho said in a TV interview that it will shortly be covered in asphalt.