Bridge to replace SH25A is best option

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 11, 2023

The Government has committed to building a bridge to replace the slipped section of SH25A in the Coromandel. The road was severely damaged during the Auckland Anniversary flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle.

Transport Minister Michael Wood said the Government has taken advice that a bridge will be the fastest, most resilient way forward and will commit the funding straight away.

He said while rebuild costs were still being finalised, the estimated cost was $30-40 million.

It would be funded through the Government’s $250 million top-up to the National Land Transport Programme fund to support the recovery.

National Road Carriers has welcomed the announcement, saying a bridge to replace the slipped section of highway is the best option.

“Confirmation the bridge will be able to be delivered quickly, while bringing more resilience to the Coromandel road network means transport operators across the regions now have better surety around what the future will hold for both the affected communities and their businesses,” said Justin Tighe-Umbers, CEO, National Road Carriers Association.

“It will be a challenging piece of engineering on a difficult site, however, this seems to be the simplest, most resilient option with the best chance to be completed ahead of summer demand.”

Tighe-Umbers said having the funding earmarked  to come from the Government’s top-up of the National Land Transport Programme means Waka Kotahi and its contractors can get going quickly on the rebuild.

“Our members have been doing it really tough. They have been hit with escalating costs all round as the cost of business has risen, journey times up to twice as long, and decreased visitor numbers impacting the businesses they support,” he said.

“As Minister Wood says, the road really is a ‘lifeline’ for the Coromandel Peninsula. It’s a huge relief to hear contractors are lined up to start construction in June with a clear end date of early 2024.

“NRC recognises that it’s going to take an immense effort from Waka Kotahi to make this happen, but to-date they have achieved great results around the country getting other roads rebuilt and open following the cyclone.

“It goes to show just how much can actually be achieved when agencies are given the right support and commitment.”