Project Introduction

Transport Rebuild East Coast (TREC) is currently working through the project’s pre-construction phase to replace Hikuwai Bridges No.1 and No.2.

  • Project type

    Bridge replacement
  • Project status


About the project

The construction start date for the SH35 Hikuwai Bridges Replacement project has been reset to late spring/ early summer.

The team will use this extended pre-construction period to focus further on design development, detailed environmental assessments, and the ongoing development of key partnerships to ensure a successful construction start.

Project background

In February 2023, Cyclone Gabrielle caused significant damage of State Highway 35 (SH35) and washed away Hikuwai No.1 Bridge cutting off communities in Tokomaru Bay and further north from whanau, essential supplies and healthcare needs.

In March 2023 a community-led bypass route which connects Gisborne to Tokomaru Bay and runs to the east of Hikuwai River was opened. It was constructed by local business Kuru Contractors, which NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) supported and worked with Ngāti Porou to restore the connection and reconnect communities.

On 15 June 2023, the state highway and communities on either side were reconnected by a temporary Bailey bridge. Spanning 85 metres, the Hikuwai Bailey bridge is the longest in the country.

Both the temporary Bailey bridge and the bypass are vulnerable and the replacement of Hikuwai Bridges No. 1 and No.2 will provide a permanent solution, critical to avoiding future disruptions to communities.

Construction stage maps