CCTV will keep bridge safe

A new CCTV camera and electronic signage will be installed near the Victoria Street bridge next month to help prevent oversized vehicles damaging the bridge. Six metres of pedestrian railing (pictured) were taken out by an over-sized vehicle in September 2017.

Waipa District Council is installing measures which could save ratepayers tens of thousands of dollars from oversized vehicles damaging the Victoria St bridge.

The organisation announced it is installing thirteen cameras across Cambridge and Te Awamutu next month, including seven in Cambridge, which will go live in September.

One camera will be installed near the Victoria Street bridge, and will link to an electronic sign board at the north side of the bridge to notify and redirect vehicles that are too large to cross.

Council’s transportation manager Bryan Hudson said oversized vehicles crossing the bridge had been an ongoing problem in Cambridge, made worse by online maps which direct drivers that way.

Bryan Hudson, transportation manager at Waipa District Council.

“Those who are unfamiliar with the town may not be aware of the restrictions on the bridge. Electronic signs that light up and flash are far more likely to grab peoples’ attention and alert them to these restrictions,” he said. “The board will also redirect them to a more suitable route.”

It could save tens of thousands in rate payer dollars after some instances in the past have required major repairs to the bridge.

The new camera will also mean Council can monitor and gather video evidence of drivers who frequently and deliberately ignore the legally posted weight and size limit.

A workstation to monitor all 13 cameras has been set up in the Te Awamutu Police station, and will be manned during the day and on certain nights by Comm Safe and volunteers. Those wanting to access recordings that could be related to crime should report to police, not Council, said Hudson.

“The cameras will also act as a deterrent for crime and gives us a means of identifying those committing crime when it does happen,” said Hudson.

In late April Council reported that the camera system would be installed over May and June, but had to reschedule the roll out, “to give ourselves some more time to seek approval from landowners and confirm connections to power,” Hudson said.

Total cost to purchase and install the cameras, as well as the VMS board for the Victoria St bridge, was $240,000. They will be installed by Datacom Ltd, and will cover several key intersections and main roads in both towns. Monitoring traffic movement, they’ll also be used to inform future decisions around roading infrastructure.

Locations of the new cameras in Cambridge include:

• Victoria Street and Hamilton Road roundabout

• Victoria Street and Queen Street roundabout

• Victoria Street, Alpha Street and Lake Street roundabout

• Victoria Street, Duke Street and Empire Street roundabout

• Victoria Street and Wilson Street intersection

• Victoria Street/Bridge and Pope Terrace roundabout

• Shakespeare Street and Cook Street roundabout.

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