The new Taipa Bridge on State Highway 10 in Northland has opened to one lane traffic.
First across the bridge this morning was truck driver Darren Rupapera from Kaitaia, who was on a routine delivery run.
“I come through Taipa just about every day and this will be a great improvement. It’s a great day for Northland.”
“When they told me I was going to be the first to drive over the new bridge I was so excited. It’s something I’ll always have to tell my mokopuna. Man, it’s an honour.”
The old bridge is closed to traffic but the pedestrian footpath on it will remain open.
The NZ Transport Agency’s Senior Manager Project Delivery Chris Hunt says theswitch of traffic over to the new bridge structure will create a safe area for crews to demolish the old bridge, with half of the new bridge being used for machinery and equipment in the demolition process.
Demolition is expected to take four to six months and the bridge will only carry single lane traffic during that time. During work hours, traffic movements will be controlled by temporary traffic lights or manual stop/go traffic managers.
“We ask motorists to follow the directions of the traffic managers and take extra care. Drivers and pedestrians will have to adjust to the intersection of State Highway and Oruru Road being closer to the Taipa shops carpark.”
Mr Hunt says there will some restrictions on over dimensional loads crossing the new bridge.
The Taipa bridge’s location on Northland’s main tourist connection, the Twin Coast Discovery Route, means it plays a critical role in the Northland economy. When it’s completed, the new two lane bridge will improve traffic flow through the town. It will also improve safety on and around the bridge and at nearby intersections for the local community, while providing safer more reliable travel options including cycling and walking.
For more on the Taipa Bridge project see: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/connecting-northland/twin-coast-discovery-route/taipa-bridge
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