The Kaituna River Bridge is beginning to take shape with the first steel section in place.
It was successfully placed on Tuesday, marking a milestone for the NZ Transport Agency's Tauranga Eastern Link (TEL) project.
The Kaituna River Bridge is a four span bridge which will cross over the realigned Bell Road and Kaituna River. With a total length of 150 metres it will be the longest of the seven bridges being built for the TEL project.
The bridge will carry two lanes of traffic in each direction which will be separated by a median wire rope barrier, and will also include a three metre wide pedestrian/cycleway on the eastern side of the bridge.
During the coming weeks, over 270 steel sections which will form the new bridge will be lifted into place.
The NZTA's Bay of Plenty state highways manager, Brett Gliddon, says a total of 68 piles were driven to depths of 55 metres to construct the two bridge abutments and three piers.
"Two of the piers are located on either side of the river channel which enables the bridge to extend out over the two stop banks."
It is expected that the placement of all the beams for the bridge will be completed by early 2013.