Road/Rail Bridges on the Hokitika/Ross Line [2]

The second location of a combined bridge is at the Taramakau River as mentioned above, being Bridge 13, between 14 and 15 km. It is lattice girder steel with six spans each 121 feet long (total length around 220 metres). It is founded in the bed on steel cylinders which must suggest a heavy flow is a common feature of this river.
Because the bridge is on the main highway to Christchurch it has tended to get a lot of attention. Obviously while New River was easily dealt with, Taramakau has attracted more than 80 years of promises; for example in 1965 both this bridge and the one at Arahura were going to be replaced within five years. A couple of ideas that didn’t make it were an extra lane on top and on the sides, because of insufficient strength in the foundations. Still, a clip on cycle/pedestrian lane was attached late last year for the West Coast Wilderness Trail even though the new bridge has been planned for building later this year. There was a bridgekeeper based there for many years, whose job was to close gates at each end to keep road traffic back, but this position must have come to a close with the reduction in trains as there is currently only one or two per day. 
The gate at the south end is a prominent feature of this 1987 photo along with the bridge keeper’s hut. The bridge was recently repainted red after being in this silver paint scheme for many years. The clearance shown as 3.44 metres in my picture was later increased to the present 4.60 metres by raising the top of the bridge and the overhead wires were also removed.
Here is an aerial view from Land Information New Zealand around five years ago.
NZTA says the new bridge will be about 30 metres downstream (to the left of this photo) and will also cross over the railway line with an overbridge to the south.