Local Matakohe resident Keith Stutt was the first to drive across the newly opened Te Piringa Tahi bridge

A milestone for Kaipara

by Paul Campbell

Kaipara’s newest bridge has opened to traffic on State Highway 12 completing the last link in the multimillion-dollar Matakohe deviation and bridges project.

The two-lane Te Piringa Tahi bridge — which means ‘bringing together as one’ — is 191 metres long and stands 15 metres above the Matakohe River.

It has six spans, each made up of five concrete supertee beams and is Northland’s longest supertee bridge, replacing the old wooden one-lane Hardies Bridge.

Already open was the two-lane bridge at the western end of the deviation that’s replaced the old Anderson Bridge. Te Ao Marama Hou — which effectively translates to ‘moving from the past into the future’ — is 54.8m long and spans Parerau Stream.

The two new bridges and 2.5km road realignment removes tight curves and short straights to improve safety on this section of the Twin Coast Discovery Route.

“Opening Te Piringa Tahi to traffic is the biggest milestone of the project and we’re very proud to have reached this stage,” says the NZ Transport Agency’s acting senior project delivery manager, Karen Boyt.

“We ask motorists to keep an eye out for changes to the traffic layout while work continues. There will be stop/go traffic management and temporary speed limits in place to help protect the road and keep our workers safe.”

Both bridges will have their top seal laid before the end of the month, and the full length of the new road will be open to vehicles by May. Landscaping and other minor works will continue through the winter. For more visit nzta.govt.nz/projects/connecting-northland/matakohe-bridges.