About us

The structures engineers and geotechnical engineers from the Operational Policy, Planning and Performance team are responsible for the structural elements of bridges, major culverts, tunnels, retaining walls, other structural walls, barriers and gantries and for geotechnical and soil structures and earthworks.

Responsibilities include identifying the need for, developing, implementing and managing the necessary documentation and for any structures and geotechnical research work undertaken through the Waka Kotahi research programme.


View standards/manuals, specifications and design guides/advice notes on bridges and culverts, tunnels, geotechnical and soil structures, other highways structures and structures operation and maintenance by selecting the relevant subject area below or through the following document map.

Also view structures and geotechnical related research reports undertaken for Waka Kotahi or the Road Research Unit via the page link below.

Bridges and structures information

Download chart [PDF, 114 KB]

Key documents

Bridge manual (SP/M/022)

Published: 2013

The Bridge manual sets out the criteria for the design and evaluation of bridges, culverts, stock underpasses and subways and the design of earthworks and retaining structures. The manual has been developed by the NZ Transport Agency for use on state highways or for the design of other new or replacement bridges proposed for funding from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF). Use of the manual on other highways, including private highways, may be considered appropriate with the agreement of the relevant road controlling authority, client or landowner.

Highway structures design guide

Published: 2016

The Highway structures design guide sets out the NZ Transport Agency’s design requirements for all permanent highway structures on the state highway network. It also sets out the Transport Agency’s design requirements for earthworks, including natural slopes, embankments and cuttings.

Bridging the gap: NZ Transport Agency urban design guidelines

Published: 2013

The guidelines seek to improve the understanding of what good urban design means in a transport project. The guidelines are intended for consultants, contractors, project managers, stakeholders and the community who participate in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of our transport networks. They are also intended for other Transport Agency staff whose work and actions affect urban design outcomes.

For further information contact bridgemanual@nzta.govt.nz