Work on the longest bridge on the Tauranga Eastern Link (TEL) project - the Bay of Plenty's own Road of National Significance - is almost complete, says the NZ Transport Agency's (NZTA).
The final concrete pour took place this week which will form the deck of the 150 metre long Kaituna River bridge that lies within the new highway road from Domain Road to Paengaroa.
Brett Gliddon, NZTA’s Bay of Plenty state highways manager says the bridge which crosses over the Kaituna River at the newly aligned Bell road will consist of two lanes in either direction with access available for pedestrians and cyclists.
Construction on the bridge commenced in January 2012 and is expected to be completed next month.
“The first deck was poured in mid-February since then 750 cubic metres of concrete has been poured to complete the bridge’s deck. The remainder of the work will be completed in June.”
When the bridge is complete the specifications of it will include 2500 cubic metres of poured concrete, 19,000 nuts and bolts, 1000 tonnes of structural steel, 68 piles and consists of three piers.
The Kaituna River bridge will be open to traffic when the Tauranga Eastern Link project is completed in 2016.
The Tauranga Eastern Link is a Road of National Significance and has been progressing well since construction started in 2010.
If you want to see the construction of the Kaituna River Bridge as captured by a time-lapse camera go to www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/tel/video.html#timelapse(external link).
A public open day is planned for later on the year, a walk across the Kaituna River Bridge is one of the activities planned for the event.
Mr Gliddon says work is already underway on the other six bridges.
“Work has started on the other six bridges, three of them will be completed by the end of 2013 - they are the Kaituna River bridge, Maketu Road bridge and the rail bridge at Paengaroa”.
The four-lane Tauranga Eastern Link will run from Te Maunga (near Baypark Stadium) in Tauranga to the existing junction of State Highways 2 and 33 (the Rotorua and Whakatane highways) near Paengaroa. It will be made up of 17km of new road and an upgrade of six kilometres of existing highway. The new highway is expected to open to traffic in 2016.
The TEL is crucial to supporting growth in the Bay of Plenty – one of New Zealand’s fastest growing regions – and providing freight access from across the region to Tauranga.
The TEL is part of the NZTA’s roads of national significance programme (RoNS for short), which represents one of New Zealand’s biggest ever infrastructure investments. Once completed, the seven RoNS routes will reduce congestion in and around our five largest metropolitan areas, and will move people and freight between and within these centres more safely and efficiently.
Other RoNS are: Puhoi to Wellford, Auckland’s Western Ring Route, Auckland’s Victoria Park Tunnel (completed in 2012), Waikato Expressway, Wellington Northern Corridor, and Christchurch Motorways. More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/rons(external link).
For more information please contact:
Media Manager Waikato and Bay of Plenty region
DDI: 07 928 7908
M: 027 021 67217