Project Introduction

The replacement of the SH26 Kirikiri Stream bridge and upgrade of the nearby SH26–SH25A intersection will reduce the impact of flooding in the area during heavy rain.

  • Estimated project cost

    $29 million
  • Project type

    Bridge replacement
  • Project status



The Kirikiri Stream bridge on State Highway 26, near Thames, was built in 1941. It is low and narrow, approximately 27m long, and has a central pier that collects flood debris, causing water to back up during storms. Replacing the bridge will help reduce the flood risk, protecting the area from the impact of severe storms.

Project overview

The replacement design is for a steel tied arch bridge, to be built slightly upstream of the current one. It will be 3m higher and will not accumulate debris underneath. The existing bridge will then be removed.

As part of the project, SH26 will be raised and realigned to connect with the new bridge, and a roundabout built on the nearby intersection of SH26 and SH25A (Kopua-Hikuai Road), significantly improving safety on this popular holiday route.

Latest update – September 2023

We recently went out for tender on this project, however the process was unsuccessful due to the prices received being significantly higher than the available funding. 

As a result of this, and a shift in focus to recovery and resilience due to this year’s weather events, this project will be re-tendered in 2024–2025. 

In the meantime, we are seeking feedback from the tenderers involved so that we can try to be in a strong position when we re-tender. This will allow us to consider what level of redesign is necessary or if it’s possible to reduce the cost of this project. 

The weather events earlier this year have meant resources from Waka Kotahi, consultants and contractors are required for recovery and resilience projects and regional maintenance programmes. This means some projects, particularly those in the design phase, have been deferred until later, or will be delivered in stages.