Overbridge construction to begin in New Year

19 Nov 2020, 8:00 AM

Te Kuiti is set to get a new pedestrian railway overbridge in the New Year after Waitomo District Council (WDC) awarded the construction contract earlier this month. 


Fulton Hogan will begin on site construction of the new replacement bridge on 12 January 2021, which is expected to take 75 working days to complete.


Mayor Robertson says, “It’s exciting to have a confirmed start date.  A lot of work has gone on to get us to this point.  The new bridge will be a very positive statement for Te Kuiti.”


In November 2018 the Council approved construction of a new overbridge after an independent assessment concluded it had reached the end of its design life.  The project is considered a vital link between the eastern and western sides of the SH3/railway corridors.


In 2017, a daytime survey identified an average pedestrian count of 197 per day using the bridge.


“We know that the bridge is well used.  The current condition means that some pedestrians are no longer able to use it, so a new bridge with improved design will be welcome to those pedestrians,” said Mayor Robertson.


The new bridge project is expected to cost $2.65M, with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency funding 73% of the cost.  Costs were initially estimated to be $1.65M but higher construction costs have led to the increase. The remaining cost (27%) will be paid for by Council and fits within existing budgets available.


During construction the bridge will be closed to pedestrians and alternative routes will be in place.


The bridge design will feature a 2.4m wide path, allowing for scooters to pass, with contemporary railing aimed at safety and visibility, as well as providing aesthetically pleasing access to Rora and Carroll Streets.


The Carroll Street side will also feature a basketball half-court after consultation with the Waitomo District Youth Council.


The new name of the bridge is ‘Te Ara Tika’ and has been chosen by Ngati Rora. It means the right pathway and will feature local weaving patterns across the length of the bridge.


“A lot of effort has gone into the cultural aspects of the bridge.  By incorporating these elements into the design it will increase knowledge of our rich history as well as becoming a cultural attraction for travellers.”


Once complete, it will be the third overbridge for the town. The first was built in late 1800s and the current one 32 years ago.


A pre-site blessing will take place before construction begins, with an official opening proposed for April 2021.

For more information on the project click here