Construction has begun on the West Coast’s new Taramakau Bridge, a $25.8 million investment in the region.
The new bridge, between Greymouth and Kumara Junction on State Highway 6, is part of the Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Package announced in 2014 to speed up the delivery of transport projects considered important to regions.
“The new two-lane bridge will replace the existing one-lane Taramakau Bridge, a 130 year-old structure that is the last road and rail bridge on the state highway network,” says Transport Minister Simon Bridges.
“The existing bridge is on an important route in the West Coast and is used by more than 3500 vehicles a day, creating congestion issues with vehicles having to queue to get across. The new two-lane bridge means local business operators, freight vehicles and residents will no longer have to wait at each end on their daily commutes.”
The new bridge also includes a 2.5 metre wide, off-road cycle and pedestrian facility that will link into an existing cycle track.
“The cycle links will play a part in the growing tourism opportunities developing in the West Coast, such as the Wilderness Trail,” says Bridges.
Rail traffic will remain on the existing bridge and the project will also see a section of SH6 realigned and an overpass built to take road traffic over the rail line.
Work is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.
More information on the project is available on the Transport Agency’s Taramakau Bridge Project page – http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh6-taramakau-bridge-projects/