Construction works to begin for Kahouri Stream bridge on Forgotten World Highway

New Zealand

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Emmetts Civil Construction to begin works for the two-lane Kahouri Stream bridge on the SH43 Forgotten World Highway located in east Stratford.

The design for the new bridge has been completed and Emmetts Civil Construction, based in Whanganui, has been awarded the construction contract. $8m has been set aside for this bridge.

Waka Kotahi Regional Manager of Infrastructure Delivery Rob Partridge says the current bridge, built in 1908, remains structurally sound, and will be retained for people to walk and cycle across.

“The new bridge will have two lanes, both 3.5 metres wide in addition to a one metre shoulder. We want to future proof the connection in this iconic area to accommodate a safer and more accessible route for all road users,” says Waka Kotahi Regional Manager of Infrastructure Delivery Rob Partridge.

“This project is one of several improvements for the Forgotten World Highway, funded jointly through Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit and the regional package of the NZ Upgrade Programme,” says Waka Kotahi Regional Manager of Infrastructure Delivery Rob Partridge.

Construction of a new bridge is underway on the Forgotten World Highway, east of Stratford, which is part of a package of improvements that will boost local tourism and economic activity in the area, Associate Minister of Transport Kiri Allan announced.

“Our regions are the backbone of Aotearoa and it’s exciting to see the Kahouri Stream Bridge project get underway in such a picturesque part of the country,” says New Zealand Associate Minister of Transport Kiri Allan.

“The Forgotten World Highway is not only an iconic tourist route, but also an important link for mana whenua, local communities, and businesses,” says New Zealand Associate Minister of Transport Kiri Allan.

“The existing one lane bridge, which was built in 1908, will also be repurposed as a historic walking and cycling route which means commuters will have even more travel options,” says New Zealand Associate Minister of Transport Kiri Allan.

The $30m package of improvements for the Forgotten World Highway includes the sealing of the Tāngarākau Gorge, safety improvements such as new signage and side barriers; a culvert replacement, passing opportunities, and the development of a preventative maintenance strategy.

“As with every project, there is likely to be traffic management in place and possible temporary road closures or changes in place. If these are needed, there will be advance warning. We appreciate any delays to people’s journey can be frustrating and we always do what we can to minimise disruptions,” says Waka Kotahi Regional Manager of Infrastructure Delivery Rob Partridge.

The new bridge is expected to be complete by early 2024 and will better accommodate increased traffic volumes and freight. New straighter alignments will be created approaching the bridge to reduce the risk of crashes, increasing safety for locals and visitors. 

Other works the Government is investing in as part of the overall package of improvements include the sealing of the Tāngāraku Gorge, safety improvements and culvert replacements.

“It’s estimated these improvements will bring 13,000 more visitors to Taranaki each year, and encourage more people to travel from Tongariro National Park through to Egmont National Park,” says New Zealand Associate Minister of Transport Kiri Allan.

Source: © 2023 Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency | Crown copyright

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