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Good progress on Te Ara Tika Pedestrian Overbridge project

11 May 2021, 3:28 PM

Completion of a stunning new pedestrian overbridge across the rail corridor at Te Kuiti is well underway.

Contractor Fulton Hogan began stage one of the $2.6 million project, which is 73 percent funded by Waka Kotahi - NZ Transport Agency, in mid-January 2021. In just 14 weeks, the old bridge has been removed and all foundation work has been completed.  New columns have been installed ready for the bridge superstructure, including beams, ramps and handrails.

At a recent Audit, Risk and Finance Committee meeting, Councillors were advised that there had been some delays in completing the steel handrails and stairs. Staff remained hopeful of reducing those delays, noting the huge pressures already on the building sector and the difficulty in sourcing specialist fabricators.

On the plus side, the early sourcing of building materials had prevented any further delays, which were now hampering some other projects around the country.

Waitomo Mayor John Robertson says it was pleasing to see solid progress being made and that he and the wider community were looking forward to the project’s completion.

“There are a lot of really exciting aspects of this project and they will come to fruition in the not too distant future,” he says.

“This will be a really attractive, signature structure for Te Kuiti that will showcase local history and culture while also improving safety for our people as well as visitors.  I think it will be well worth the wait”.

The next major stage will see precast concrete bridge beams and ramps moved into position on top of the columns, using large cranes.  The assembly work is scheduled to start later this month depending on progress made with the steelwork fabrication, with lifting of most of the beams happening from mid to late June. 

The plan is to coordinate construction of the proposed basketball half-court alongside the existing skatepark, together with landscaping, picnic areas and a small carpark, with the installation of the bridge ramps and handrails. It will mean that installation of the ramps for the spiral section of the new bridge will be one of the last steps of the project, after the half court construction has been completed.