Demolition of old Taipa Bridge takes place

The NZ Transport Agency says demolition of the old one-lane bridge at Taipa in Northland is going according to plan and should be finished during August

A new two-lane bridge has been constructed next to the old bridge, and while half of the bridge opened to foot and vehicle traffic in February, the other half is being used for machinery and equipment in the demolition process, says the Transport Agency’s senior manager project delivery Andrew Thackwray.

Environmental controls are in place as crew prepare to cut out a bridge span on the old Taipa Bridge

"Demolishing a bridge is complex work and the need to protect the marine environment has added an additional layer of complexity.

"Each of the concrete spans cut out of the bridge is 15 metres long and weighs up to 16 tonnes. Spans are cut into four sections, lifted out on to the new bridge, and then cut into a further three sections before being transported off-site."

The old pier has been removed, but the piles are sitting just below the waterline at low tide. The piles will be cut down further so they are below the level of the river bed.

"This is why we insist there be no diving from the bridge or boats passing under the bridge. We will advise when the piles have been made safe and the ban can be lifted."

The old pier piles are still visible at low tide but will be cut down to below the level of the river bed

Motorists are reminded that during work hours, traffic movements across the bridge will be controlled by temporary traffic lights or manual stop/go traffic managers. 

"We ask motorists to follow the directions of the traffic managers and take extra care. We thank people for their patience and understanding while we complete the bridge construction."

The Taipa bridge’s location on Northland’s main tourist connection, the Twin Coast Discovery Route, means it plays a critical role in the Northland economy. When it’s completed, the new two-lane bridge will improve traffic flow through the town.

It will also improve safety on and around the bridge and at nearby intersections for the local community while providing safer more reliable travel options including cycling and walking.

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