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PGF funded bridge projects near completion

9 Dec 2019

PGF funded bridge projects near completion

Mangaoporo Bridges no.1 and no.2 near Ruatorea have been reopened after being closed for major strengthening works.

The works are part of the $3 million 50 max Provincial Growth Fund programme to upgrade rural bridges which lie on future freight routes, most of which were constructed for a weight limit of 44 tonnes.

As forestry vehicles can now weigh up to 50 tonnes, upgrading the bridges is critical to connect industry product to market.

The 50 max project is a key component of the $137 million Tairāwhiti Roading Package to unlock the region’s economic potential. Up to $38 million of this amount has been allocated to Tairāwhiti’s local roads.

Mangaoporo Bridge no.1 was the first to be almost completely stripped, strengthened and rebuilt.

Immediately after the first bridge reopened to heavy traffic last month, work began on the second.

During the works, local residents, beekeepers and forestry teams needed to drive their vehicles through the Mangaoporo River at a temporary ford crossing. The timing of the upgrades was a key element to avoid rising river waters and whitebait spawning season.

Rangi Raroa, a beekeeper from Rangitukia, has worked as a labourer on both bridges with his brother and nephew.

“We depend on this road to access the blocks here to get to our hives. It’s great to see investment in our area and it really means a lot to us.”

Errol Clarke, Council Journeys capital projects officer, said that the input and collaboration from the local community was critical to the project’s success.

“Understanding when and how the local community used the bridges throughout the year allowed us to complete the project without causing significant disruption to the public, to honey extraction, moving hives or forestry activity. We would like to thank the community for their patience.”

See more about the project on a video here(external link).