Strengthening now complete at SH39 Whatiwhatihoe Bridge


A new strengthening approach means the Whatiwhatihoe bridge on State Highway 39 south of Pirongia will be carrying heavy traffic over the Waipa River for many years to come.

The 70 year-old concrete bridge was identified as requiring strengthening work to cope with modern traffic including High Productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMV).

Works involved an innovative strengthening solution, with a novel post-tension cable and anchorage system being is a first for New Zealand, which allowed tensioning to take place while traffic continued to use the bridge. In addition to minimising traffic disruption, this new system also has environmental benefits by using less carbon-intensive materials.

cable and concrete platforms on a construction site

The post-tension cable and anchorage system used to strengthen Whatiwhatihoe Bridge.

The strengthening began in October 2022 and the only obvious sign that work has been underway is the presence of scaffold underneath the bridge.

Over the coming weeks the scaffolding will be gradually removed, which will see SH39 reduced to one lane at times, with Stop/Go traffic control in operation during this period.

bridge with scaffolding set up

Scaffolding will be removed over the coming weeks.

Waka Kotahi thanks motorists for their patience.