The new two-lane Kopu Bridge was officially opened by Prime Minister John Key on Saturday, 10 December. A Public Bridge Walk was held the same day and attracted 8000-10,000 people.
The bridge opened to traffic on Monday 12 December 2011, approximately six months ahead of schedule. Finishing works on other parts of the project will continue until early 2012.
About the bridge
The old one-lane bridge built in 1927-28 remained structurally sound, but does not have the capacity to cope with peak flows during holiday periods without causing significant delays. A modern, two-lane bridge including a combined cycle and pedestrian path has been constructed immediately upstream from the existing bridge.
The new bridge improves traffic capacity, reduce delays and meet modern safety, earthquake and structural standards.
Construction started in July 2009. The new bridge opened to traffic in December 2011.
The future of the Old Kopu Bridge
The old, one-way Kopu Bridge, near Thames, is now no longer required as part of the state highway and local road transport network.