Christmas comes early to the Coromandel – SH25A is now open to traffic


State Highway 25A between Kōpū and Hikuai is now open, with traffic able to cross over the new 124 metre Taparahi Bridge for the first time this morning.

Aerial view of completed Taparahi Bridge.

“The January storm events left us with a gaping hole in SH25A and the daunting task of reconnecting the Coromandel as soon as possible,” says Jo Wilton, Regional Manager of Infrastructure Delivery for NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA).

“The new bridge isn’t just the fastest solution, it’s the most resilient solution too and it’s a tremendous feeling to see it opened and unwrapped today, just in time for Christmas.”

Drivers may see workers updating SH25A road signs around the Coromandel Peninsula today and should drive with care.

“The area around the bridge remains an active worksite with work underway until around April 2024. Drivers should be aware there is a speed restriction and areas of new seal along the road. Please follow all posted speeds to protect your vehicle and the new work.”

The traffic management at the new bridge is there to safeguard vehicles from parts of the site that aren’t complete and to allow workers safe access when they return after the Christmas, New Years break.

Traffic is expected to be heavy throughout the holiday period and NZTA needs everyone to do their bit to keep things flowing smoothly.

“We understand there will be a lot of interest in the new bridge and changed landscape at the slip site, but it is not safe to stop and sightsee on or near the bridge. Road users need to keep moving,” Ms Wilton says.

“Any closure of SH25A, whether it’s weather or crash related, has widespread impacts, so be tolerant, keep a safe following distance and be conscious of those travelling behind you.”

In addition to the new bridge, road users can now enjoy a safer journey along the whole length of SH25A.

“We’ve also taken the opportunity with the closure of the road to invest an additional $30 million to clear slips, replace 23 culverts, repair/replace 7km of side drains and complete the strengthening of 7 bridges as well as complete slope stabilisation and resealing along the rest of SH25A to ensure the entire corridor is safe and more resilient.

“We’d like to thank the Coromandel community for their support of the project and we hope everyone enjoys a wonderful holiday under a Pohutukawa on the Peninsula this summer.

“Let Santa know the highway’s open and he doesn’t need to take the long way around.”

A few facts about the new Taparahi SH25A bridge

  • 124m long and 15m high bridge
  • 3-span composite design
  • Pre-cast concrete deck
  • Over 100 people working on and off site
  • Estimated cost approximately $43M (under the $50M estimate)
  • 491 soil nails in the slip face to treat unstable soil slopes
  • Deepest pile was 41 metres. This is double the depth of the other piles (about 22 metres deep)
  • Piles bored at least 10m into the rock (for solid rock foundation)
  • Steel beams that measure 18, 29, and 30 metres long fabricated by Eastbridge Ltd in Napier factory
  • 138 pre-cast concrete panels constructed by Fulton Hogan in Ranui
  • 52 pre-cast side barriers fabricated in Tauranga by supplier Preco for the bridge deck
  • Around 75 tonnes of cement had been injected into the slip material to retain and stabilise the land
  • Machinery on site:
    • 19 machines on site (Including broom sweepers, rollers, and some smaller drilling rigs.)
    • Piling rig 100 tonnes
    • 2x100 tonnes cranes and a 250T Crane.
    • Seven excavators, totalling 124T of earthmoving power on site
    • Dump trucks – a 30T two 10T tracked articulated dump trucks.

SH25A Taparahi rebuild project page

Drone vision of the new bridge

Merry Christmas from the ‘beautiful bridge’ team