Project introduction

The SH10 Kāeo Bridge upgrade project includes a new two-lane bridge and roundabout at the intersection of SH10 and Whangaroa Road that will improve safety and traffic flow.

  • Estimated project cost

    $40 million
  • Project type

    Bridge replacement
  • Project status


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The single lane bridge just north of Kāeo township and the adjoining SH10/Whangaroa Road intersection are a safety concern for the local community, visitors and other road users.

The Kāeo Bridge is located on the Twin Coast Discovery Route, Northland’s main tourist route, and provides access to visitor destinations such as Doubtless Bay, Karikari Peninsula and Cape Reinga.

During peak visitor season, the bridge becomes a bottleneck, creating delays for everyone. Many of those driving across the bridge are not familiar with one-lane bridges and the need to give way can cause confusion.


This project will feature a new two-lane bridge across the Kāeo River and a roundabout to improve traffic flow through this section of road.


The SH10 Kāeo Bridge project will improve road safety and reduce peak season vehicle queuing along the state highway.

By making it safer and easier to move through the intersection and over the bridge, the project will improve the experience of visitors, freight traffic and other road users travelling the Twin Coast Discovery Route. This supports Northland’s tourism industry and broader economic development.

The new bridge design will have minimal impact on the area as the route is over land that is already cleared, and it crosses the Kāeo River without changing the riverbed, banks or flow.

Flood mitigation

This area is low lying and extreme weather events cause frequent flooding. The new bridge is designed not to exacerbate this problem, avoiding any adverse upstream impacts to Kāeo.

The bridge will be the same height as the previous one so that the embankment at the western end doesn’t need to be higher – this may have created a damming effect when waters are high.

In addition, at 110m, the new bridge will be over twice as long as the old bridge. This means that a larger volume of water will be able to flow underneath it.

Indicative programme

These dates are a best estimate based on current information and may be subject to change.

Late 2021 – earthworks commence

Early 2024 – all works complete, including removal of old bridge

Funding source

Funding for this project is from the National Land Transport Fund.