Hutt train services cancelled this weekend to allow work on earthquake damaged Ava station overbridge

The train line between Upper Hutt and Wellington will be closed this weekend to allow one of the Ava pedestrian overbridges in the Hutt Valley to be partially dismantled.

The ramp overbridge was identified in February as needing strengthening work, and Greater Wellington Regional Council staff were about to contract out strengthening work when the November earthquake occurred.

Public Transport General Manager Wayne Hastie said that as a result of the recent earthquake the ramp overbridge sustained significant damage, so the bridge was closed to pedestrians and a temporary support put in place to enable trains to safely operate. The engineering assessment also recommended that the bridge span be removed as soon as practicable to remove the risk of collapse.

“Greater Wellington Regional Council has made the decision to partially dismantle the overbridge this weekend,” said Wayne Hastie.

Chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Sustainable Transport Committee, Councillor Barbara Donaldson, apologises to commuters affected by the track closure and dismantling of the overbridge, but says public safety is paramount.

“While we sympathise with those affected by the closure of train services between Upper Hutt and Wellington this weekend, I am confident that partially dismantling the overbridge is the only course of action. Key options being looked at are repairing the existing structure or completely renewing the overbridge.

We also apologise to those people who require a ramp for access to the Ava station and have been unable to access the station since last month’s earthquake. We are aware that people with disabilities and parents with prams will have to travel to an alternative train station until we repair or replace the overbridge,” said Councillor Donaldson.

Public Transport General Manager Wayne Hastie said it was likely that a functional ramp overbridge will be in place at Ava Station within 12 months.
Buses will replace the trains this weekend while the bridge span is removed, but to an altered timetable. Please visit the Metlink website for a full timetable of weekend bus replacement services from Wellington to Hut Valley.