Taipa bridge project be­gins

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - JENNY LING

Of­fi­cials, lo­cals and new North­land MP Matt King turned out to the sod turn­ing cer­e­mony mark­ing the start of the Taipa bridge project on Septem­ber 29.

The new bridge will have two traf­fic lanes and a shared path for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists and is part of a Govern­ment pledge to build ten dou­ble-lane bridges across North­land.

New Zealand Trans­port Agency project de­liv­ery se­nior man­ager Chris Hunt says the ar­rival of the site of­fice and earth­works are sched­uled for mid Novem­ber.

Fur­ther work will in­clude the re­moval of the cur­rent me­mo­rial, which will be re­placed with a new mon­u­ment which re­flects the cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance of Taipa as a place where Kupe landed, and ac­knowl­edge sol­diers from the area.

‘‘Dur­ing the busy tourist sea­son the cur­rent one-lane bridge cre­ates reg­u­lar de­lays and road safety con­cerns and im­prov­ing these con­nec­tions is vi­tal to creat­ing a re­silient road net­work and stim­u­lat­ing North­land’s eco­nomic growth,’’ Hunt says.

‘‘This in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment will al­low Taipa to ac­com­mo­date in­creas­ing tourism num­bers whilst en­hanc­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and the econ­omy of Taipa.’’

A div­ing plat­form will also be built as it is a pop­u­lar swim­ming area and con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be com­pleted in 2019.

Matt King, Colin Kitchen, Phillipa Lam­bert. Paul Davis, Wiremu Po­harama and Jim Seph­ton.

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