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SH25 Kopu Bridge

Updated: 11 October 2012

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has replaced the Kopu Bridge on State Highway 25, south of Thames. This route is considered strategically important in the National State Highway Network. It is the preferred link between Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, and carries high volumes of visitor traffic. It is also an essential link for emergency services.

This artist’s impression shows the new bridge at right, alongside the existing bridge.

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.

Timing

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.

Facts & figures

On average, 9000 vehicles cross the Kopu Bridge each day. Until the new bridge was opened, queues often caused traffic delays in and out of the Kopu industrial area. At Christmas and holiday weekends, traffic numbers increase dramatically, causing long queues and delays.
Your questions answered

Piles supporting the new bridge have been driven 55m below the Waihou River. If all the piles were laid end to end in a straight line, they would stretch approximately 5km - or from Kopu to Thames.
View construction photos

The new bridge is 580m long.