Thousands of Hawke's Bay residents took the opportunity to cross the SH2 Matahorua Bridge at an open day held by the NZ Transport Agency yesterday.
An estimated 6,000 visitors crossed the bridge and donated a gold coin to purchase their own commemorative certificate, which was organised by the Rotary clubs of Napier, Hastings and Wairoa.
Acting Regional State Highways Manager Gordon Hart says the numbers were well above expectation.
"The Matahorua project will make such a difference to the everyday journeys of local residents and the NZ Transport Agency is proud to provide the opportunity to view the Matahorua Bridge up close before its
official opening. The NZTA would like to thank everyone who came and crossed the bridge and also the Institute of Professional Engineers (IPENZ) and Rotary clubs of Wairoa, Napier and Hastings who helped
organise the event."
Model bridges from local Tutira School students were on display as part of the IPENZ FutureIntech programme that aims to grow the country's next engineers.
Food and drink sold as part of fundraising efforts will go towards walking and cycleway initiatives across the Hawke's Bay and Tutira School.
An official opening of the SH2 Matahorua Gorge Realignment project is scheduled for early March. The new route is safer, shorter and more reliable to give motorists easier journeys through Matahorua Gorge.
For more information on the Matahorua project visit www.nzta.govt.nz/matahorua(external link).