Work is getting underway on the long-awaited replacement of Matakohe’s single-lane Hardies and Anderson bridges on October 5, following an official blessing and cultural induction ceremony for the construction crew.
The project, which realigns State Highway 12 and its vital transport link into Kaipara, was more fully outlined at Arapaoa’s Waiaua Marae last Saturday at a function attended by contractors Fulton Hogan, engineers Aurecon, New Zealand Transport Agency, and Te Uri O Hau representatives.
Fulton Hogan and Aurecon won the $26.1 million contract work to replace the two bridges at Matakohe.
“It’s exciting news,” says Kaipara Mayor Greg Gent. “The bridges have long been a problem in our roading network and with the start date we can look forward to the road realigned and the bridges gone.”
The event also ends a long campaign by local people led by Matakohe’s Sue Reyland, who is ‘delighted’ after Saturday’s gathering where some of the construction details were released.
“The Kaipara District Council’s sign-off of the required resource consents was confirmed, and some amazing construction details. For instance, seven trucks will be bringing up a crane which in turn will build another crane capable of lifting a 33 metre, 50 tonne beam into place.”
There will be extensive landscaping of the surrounding area and lookout points. An an iwi consultant will be on site to look after heritage and ecological matters, Matakohe Creek, Te Mateetetau, is located within the project area and is also a Department of Conservation Reserve. NZTA has enlisted representatives of Te Uri o Hau to monitor all geotechnical investigations and provide cultural input.
A shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists through the area will still be open for public input and there will be a special display to outline the latest project details at the Matakohe War Memorial Hall on October 7, as part of The Matakohe Museum’s Settlers Day activities.
The Matakohe bridges carry an average of 1,850 vehicles per day, including approximately 200 heavy vehicles. Economic development unit, Northland Inc, has welcomed the realignment saying the region’s GDP is increasing, new residential building consents are rising, and spending in the region by domestic and international visitors is higher than it’s ever been.
Initial works at the realignment location have included geotechnical testing and earthworks will support a short diversion of the state highway to allow the main works to be constructed without delaying vehicles.
A new and improved intersection will be built for the Matakohe township and The Kauri Museum and cycling connections will be provided.
Construction will take two construction seasons and is expected to be complete in 2019.