The NZ Transport Agency says the Matakohe Bridges project in Northland is well on the road to completion. The final seal has been laid on the largest of the two bridges – Te Piringatahi – on State Highway 12.
"That means speed restrictions have been lifted along the entire length of the new 2.5 km alignment, so motorists can now enjoy the full benefits of this new stretch of SH12,” says the Transport Agency’s Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult.
Te Piringatahi 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. It replaces the old one-lane Hardies Bridge.
The second bridge in the project, 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.
Together the two bridges and new road alignment remove tight curves and short straights to improve safety on this section of the Twin Coast Discovery Route.
Landscaping on the roadsides and other minor works will continue into winter.
“All of the mulching for the project is now done and about half the planting. That includes 14 kauri trees standing 2-3 metres at the Gateway to Matakohe intersection which leads to the iconic Matakohe Kauri Museum.”
“The kauri plantings are in recognition of the history and the legacy of the region’s ancient kauri forests, and the industries associated with the trees.”
“We thank motorists and local residents for your patience with reduced speed limits throughout the project. There will be times when we need to put in temporary speed restrictions in specific areas to enable the remaining work - for example, the delivery of plants - to be completed safely,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.