Bridge closing for major works
Waitangi’s iconic one-lane bridge will be closed Monday to Friday next week so the wood decking can be replaced.
Traffic will be diverted via Haruru Falls Rd for those wanting to get to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the Bay of Islands Yacht Club, the Waitangi Golf Club and a small number of homes, but the footpath on the eastern side of the bridge will remain open.
Parts of the deck were repaired in September 2018, but it was found that it had deteriorated more significantly than thought, and all running planks would need to be replaced. Crews will work around the clock next week to do that and reseal the deck with asphalt. Contractors will also repair the northern approach to the bridge.
The Far North District Council’s general manager infrastructure and asset management, Andy Finch, said staff were working closely with iwi and business representatives to ensure the repairs caused as little disruption as possible.
“We could not afford to delay the work any longer, as it must be undertaken during warm weather,” he said.
“The timing does not clash with Easter or Anzac Day public holidays, and also avoids the school holidays. Fortunately, no cruise ships are visiting during at this time.”
This could be the last time the bridge needed such repairs, he added, given that the Northland Transportation Alliance had applied for $7 million from the government’s Provincial Growth Fund to build a two-lane bridge. It was still awaiting a response to the application. The New Zealand Transport Agency has issued an open invitation to the public to air their views about potential improvements to State Highway 11 between Kawakawa and Puketona. Potential options include: A roundabout on State Highway 1 at Kawakawa and improved pedestrian connections;
Extending the shared use path on SH11 at the Haruru Falls Rd intersection;
A new shared use path between Paihia and Waitangi; * Improvements in the Paihia town centre;
Enhancing access to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds;
Delivery of the Te Haumi Flats safety and beautification improvements;
Safety improvements on SH11;
Improved signage and wayfinding along the corridor to include cultural stories;
Investigating improved ride share and public transport options;
Improved stormwater infrastructure to protect the environment.
The NZTA is hoping to hear from the community at six drop-in events next week: Tuesday — Opua wharf (10am — noon), Gillies St Kawakawa (near the Hundertwasser toilets, 1pm — 3pm), and the St John building in Kawakawa (5pm — 7pm). Wednesday — Corner of Marsden Rd and Williams St, Paihia (9am — 11am), Twin Pines Manor, Haruru Falls (noon — 2pm), the Bay of Islands Community Centre, Marsden Rd Paihia (4pm — 6pm).
Those unable to be at any of those venues may provide feedback via www.nzta.govt./ nz/twin-coast-discovery-route
Waitangi bridge will be closed to traffic next week while the deck is resealed.