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Last chance for feedback on future of old Kopu Bridge

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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is offering a final opportunity for people to have a say on what should be done with the old Kopu Bridge before making a decision about its future.

Old Kopu Bridge
The old Kopu Bridge

NZTA Regional Director Harry Wilson said that over the past year, the NZTA has engaged with key stakeholders (including local councils, the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ, and the NZ Historic Places Trust) and the local community to evaluate options for the fate of the old Kopu Bridge.

Two options have emerged:

  • Finding a way to re-use and open up the old bridge for the public to enjoy, and transferring ownership of the bridge to a Trust.
  • Deconstructing the old bridge, but retaining the swing arm and creating a ‘bridge museum’ on land (this includes the possibility of relocating the swing arm onto a part of the National Cycle Trail).

Mr Wilson said that the NZTA called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the old Kopu Bridge in September last year. As a result of this process, a community group are currently investigating the possibility of establishing a Trust to restore the bridge and use it for walking and cycling.

Mr Wilson said the NZTA estimates, based on actual examples, it will cost about $2.3M to complete the upgrade work required, plus around $250K every year for maintenance. All of this funding will need to be raised by the community group or Trust because the NZTA cannot fund any future maintenance or upgrade of the old bridge, as it is no longer required as part of the State Highway network.

The other option of deconstructing the bridge and retaining and relocating the swing arm, is estimated to cost about $3.9M. This is something that the NZTA can fund, and all of these costs would be met by the NZTA.

Your comments on what should be done with the old Kopu bridge are welcomed, and can be sent either by email to kopubridge@nzta.govt.nz or by post to: Old Kopu Bridge Project, PO Box 973, Waikato Mail Centre, Hamilton 3240. Feedback closes on Friday 29 March 2013.

“Once the feedback period closes, we will be analysing all of the information we have received. We will also be taking into account the progress that has been made by the community group who are currently investigating the possibility of restoring the bridge and using it for walking and cycling, “Mr Wilson said.

The Transport Agency’s final decision about the future of the old bridge is likely to be made by about the end of July 2013.

Kopu Bridge website

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