Northland’s newest bridge has opened to traffic on State Highway 12 in a major milestone for the Matakohe Bridges project.
The larger of the two bridges at Matakohe opened to one-way traffic on Saturday morning, with local resident Keith Stutt making sure he was first in the queue to cross the bridge.
“It’s a vast improvement. It’s good for us local residents because the road’s going to be a lot better.”
“It will be lower so there will be less noise from trucks using their air brakes on the way down and grinding their way up the hill past the house,” says Mr Stutt.
The two-lane Te Piringa Tahi Bridge – which means “bringing together as one” – is 191 metres long and stands 15 metres above the Matakohe River. It has six spans, each made up of five concrete supertee beams and is Northland’s longest supertee bridge. It replaces the old one-lane Hardies Bridge.
Saturday’s opening follows the opening in February of the two-lane bridge that’s replaced the nearby Anderson Bridge. Te Ao Marama Hou which effectively translates to “moving from the past into the future” spans Parerau Stream and is 54.8m in length.
The two new bridges and 2.5km road realignment will remove tight curves and short straights to improve safety on this section of the Twin Coast Discovery Route.
“Opening Te Piringa Tahi to traffic is the biggest milestone of the project and we’re very proud to have reached this stage,” says the Transport Agency’s Acting Senior Project Delivery Manager, Karen Boyt.
“We ask motorists to keep an eye out for changes to the traffic layout while work continues. There will be stop/go traffic management and temporary speed limits in place to help protect the road and keep our workers safe.”
Both bridges will have their top seal laid before the end of the month and the full length of the new road will be open to vehicles by May 2019. Landscaping and other minor works will continue through the 2019 winter.
For more on the Matakohe Bridges replacement project, go to https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/connecting-northland/matakohe-bridges/(external link)
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