January start date confirmed for Waikanae River Bridge shared path


Work to install a new clip-on shared path across Waikanae Bridge will get underway early in the new year, with 16 January set as the start date for construction.

Once installed, the clip-on bridge will provide improved separation between road and shared path users, making crossing the bridge on old State Highway 1 much safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Jetesh Bhula, New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Regional Manager, says the work was initially planned to happen before the end of this year.

“However, we wanted to make sure the local community and businesses weren’t disrupted over the holiday break. So, we delayed the start date until 16 January – after the Christmas/New Year period.”

Mr Bhula says the project requires traffic management and a detour for southbound vehicles. It ensures the clip-on bridge can be built safely and efficiently. Work is expected to continue through until May/June.

“While we understand this work will cause some delays for road users and affect pedestrians and cyclists during construction, the clip-on shared path is essential for improving safety for all road users.”

“By creating a shared path well-separated from other road users, we’re helping to create a safer and more enjoyable journey – not just for cyclists and pedestrians – but for motorists too,“ Mr Bhula says.

Traffic management and detour routes

  • While the project is underway, Waikanae River Bridge will be closed to southbound traffic, with a detour via the Expressway. 
  • Access for northbound traffic will remain open with temporary speed limits in place.
  • Staff will be on-site 24/7 to allow emergency vehicles across the bridge. Provisions have also been made to allow for school buses travelling south over the bridge.
  • For safety reasons, pedestrians and cyclists won’t be able to access the bridge pathway while installation is underway.
  • Access to the Waikanae River trails on either side of the bridge will remain open. 

Previous work in the area using stop/go traffic management led to unsafe queues north of the bridge. Using a southbound detour via the Expressway reduces the chance of traffic tailing back onto the Te Moana Road intersection or the railway level crossing on Elizabeth Street. This will give the community certainty around planning their journeys.