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Kauri tree planting celebrates completion of Matakohe bridges

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Kauri seedlings were planted on a roadside embankment at Matakohe in Northland today to celebrate the completion of a project to construct two new bridges and a new 2.5km alignment of State Highway 12.

“It’s appropriate to plant kauri on this day and in this place - to bring together the old and the new,” says the NZ Transport Agency’s Director of Regional Relationships Steve Mutton.

“The kauri industry is a part of this region’s history and a key driver of its tourism future. Matakohe’s Kauri Museum is an important drawcard on the Twin Coast Discovery Route and this new road alignment, which removes tight curves and short straights over two new two-lane bridges, will improve road safety for the local community and visitors.”

Mr Mutton acknowledged the contribution of local iwi, Te Uri o Hau, throughout the project.

“They prepared the Cultural Impacts Assessment and have been involved in the development of our archaeological management plan, landscape design and ongoing monitoring of key construction activities. They’ve also worked with the project team during the development of the Wahi Taonga Area (area developed along the walking and cycling shared path for the Pou and midden relocation).”

Te Uri o Hau also named the two new two lane bridges that replaced the old one lane bridges.

Piringatahi – which means “bringing together as one” – opened to traffic in April 2019. The bridge is 191 metres long and stands 15 metres above the Matakohe River. It replaces the old one-lane Hardies Bridge.

The second bridge, Te Ao Marama Hou, which effectively translates to “moving from the past into the future” spans Parerau Stream and replaces Anderson Bridge. It is 54.8m in length and opened to traffic in February.

Mr Mutton said the $31m project was another step towards unlocking the potential of the Twin Coast Discovery Route to boost tourism and jobs.

“By improving safety and resilience on this part of the Twin Coast Discovery Route, we connect communities, key tourist attractions and infrastructure.”

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