In a holiday surprise, the anticipated reopening of the Taparahi Bridge on State Highway 25A between Kōpū and Hikuai is set to happen just in time for Christmas – a whopping three months ahead of schedule.
Jo Wilton, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Regional Manager, ecstatically shares the completion of the 124-meter bridge decking. This marks the end of the chasm-induced highway severance from late January. With this triumph, the region can anticipate a smoother and more connected travel experience. Proudly, Wilton exclaimed, our team achieved an extraordinary feat: constructing the bridge swiftly and investing $25m for corridor excellence.
Revolutionizing Connectivity: Taparahi Bridge’s Early Christmas Gift to Coromandel Peninsula
The holiday gift doesn’t stop there. Strategically, accelerated maintenance enables seamless SH25A travel, ensuring no disruptions for drivers during the bustling summer season.
“Reconnecting the two sides of the Coromandel Peninsula has always been our goal, and we’re thrilled to announce that by the 20th of December, traffic will once again flow across the Taparahi Bridge,” Wilton happily shared.
The Taparahi Bridge, an impressive feat, rose from severe weather that washed away the road earlier this year. Typically, a project of this magnitude would take 12 to 14 months, but Waka Kotahi slashed that timeline in half.
Wilton spilled the beans on their jaw-dropping efforts! “Imagine this: the squads hustling 24/7, crafting steel girders in Napier at Eastbridge—talk about burning the midnight oil, all to fast-track this bridge miracle.”
The efficiency didn’t stop there. Repurposing steel plates from another project avoided the lengthy wait for overseas shipments, cutting costs to an expected $43m.
While the finishing touches are still underway, the bridge will open at a reduced speed under traffic management. Ongoing drainage and planting will extend the project’s completion timeline by a few more months, but this won’t necessitate road closures.
As the holiday season approaches, Wilton expressed gratitude to everyone involved in making this Christmas miracle happen. “Our special thanks go to the Coromandel community for their patience and support. In conclusion, she sincerely acknowledged the challenging year and expressed hope that the new bridge, a symbol of resilience, would uplift the Peninsula. The SH25A Taparahi Bridge stands as a structural triumph and a beacon of community spirit, set to bring joy to the Coromandel this festive season.