Frequently asked questions
When is construction expected to start?
On site construction will begin on 12 January 2021.
How long will the replacement overbridge take to build?
The Te Ara Tika bridge replacement project comprises two stages – demolition of the old overbridge and construction of the new bridge foundations and superstructure (Stage 1), followed by development of the bridge landings on either side of the bridge (Stage 2). The latter is mostly centred on the Carroll Street side and is more related to recreation and community services/development type activities (basketball half-court, landscaping, passive recreation areas, park furniture, lighting, carpark). Work on Stage 1 is well advanced, with the final aspects underway involving fabrication and installation of the bridge steel work followed by craning the beams and ramps into position on top of the new columns. The latter is due to commence next month ( July). The Stage 2 works are also underway involving demolition, earthworks, and drainage, to be followed by landscaping, half-court paving, carpark resurfacing and lighting.
Who is building the over bridge?
Fulton Hogan will be constructing the overbridge.
Will the over bridge be open during construction?
No, it will be closed during construction. Alternative routes will be in marked out ahead of construction getting under way.
Why are you building a new one?
After independent engineers inspected the bridge, they identified that the structure has reached the end of its life. The main span support columns are sagging inwards, timber beams and columns are deteriorating, and the bridge does not meet current design codes.
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to repair the existing bridge?
In the long term a new bridge is a more cost-effective option. The new bridge will be fully engineered to modern design standards and improve connection to Rora Street. We’ve received 73% funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, which we would not have got if we upgraded the bridge.
What is the cost of this project and who is paying for it?
The project budget for Stage1 and related parts of Stage 2 is $2.65m. In addition to that are budgets for the bridge landings/amenity areas, new footpaths, carpark resurfacing, landscaping and design of architectural features. The combined budget for stages 1 and 2 is approx. $3.2M. 73% of that cost will be covered by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and the remaining 27% will be paid for by council and fits within our existing budgets available.
Why cant we have a level crossing?
KiwiRail will not allow a level crossing at this location because of concerns for pedestrian safety. The bridge crosses five sets of tracts, with three beneath the overhead electrical transmission.
Why build the bridge at the same location?
The replacement bridge will make use of the two existing concrete columns, which reduces the cost of the project. We also have an agreement with KiwiRail allowing access at this location.
The existing location is also central to the two existing level crossings at Ward Street and Awakino Road.
The Carroll Street side is within 5-10 minutes of a significant residential catchment and is opposite the existing pedestrian crossing over SH3.
The Rora Street side connects well with the town centre, including the public toilets and visitor information centre.
Did you consult with anyone about the design?
Community consultation on the new bridge design concepts began in November 2019 and included: mana whenua, youth, residents and Legendary Te Kuiti.
Our Youth Council prepared a submission and we where possible have incorporated these ideas into the concept. This includes a basketball half-court, seating, shade areas and greenspace.
Will there be an official opening?
Yes. The original finish date related to just the bridge structure, with the landscaping and amenity works to follow as a separate stage. The opening has been rescheduled until the complete project is ready, targeting mid-September, subject to weather conditions and supplier deliveries on-time.
Will there be any toilets built on the Carroll Street side of the bridge?
There is an existing toilet block at the Rora Street side of the bridge, adjacent to the bridge ramp, so there are no plans to build any additional toilets on the Carroll Street side
Is the skate park being upgraded as part of this project?
The project does not include an upgrade to the skate park. A basketball half-court and landscaped picnic area is to be developed immediately north and adjacent to the existing skatepark.
Is the bridge earthquake proof?
Yes, the new bridge will be fully engineered to meet modern earthquake design standards.
How many car parks will be on the Carroll Street side of the bridge?
The space allows for six carparks on Carroll Street
How will the completed bridge benefit both motorists and pedestrians in the future?
The replacement bridge is for pedestrians only – it is not a road bridge. It will provide a safe, a pedestrian gateway crossing the railway corridor and connecting with the Te Kuiti town centre. It will remove the need for pedestrians to cross the railway tracks at the alternative and somewhat dangerous level crossing points at Ward Street and Awakino Rd. More than that, the new bridge will be a fully engineered, signature structure built to a contemporary design using modern materials. It will provide both functional necessity and community identity.