Civil construction firm Fulton Hogan and engineer Aurecon have won $40.7 million of work to replace three one-way bridges in Northland as part of the government's pledge to improve the region's neglected transport infrastructure.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges today appointed the contracts to replace two bridges at Matakohe between Wellsford and Dargaville and one at Taipa on the southern shore of Doubtless Bay, when releasing a one-year update on how a Northland economic action plan was tracking.
The contract can be extended to include the replacement of the Kaeo bridge, which is slated for construction to start next year.
"These bridge upgrades are part of the government's commitment to invest in Northland's state highway network to stimulate economic growth throughout the region, improve safety and strengthen connections with the rest of New Zealand," Bridges said in a statement.
"The new bridge at Taipa will provide greater resilience during extreme weather events and improve safety," while "the replacement of the two bridges at Matakohe will improve safety for all road users."
The government pledged to build the bridges in a 2015 byelection which its candidate ultimately lost to NZ First leader Winston Peters.
Funding of $26.1m has been approved for the Matakohe project and $16.6m for Taipa, and a request for funding is expected to be made for the Kaeo bridge replacement in the first quarter, a spokeswoman for Bridges said in an emailed statement.
Public consultation on the preferred alignment for the Matakohe and Taipa projects will take place in the first quarter of 2017, with building expected to begin later in the year.
The remaining six one-way bridges are still in the planning phase and haven't had economic assessments. The first four bridges are expected to be the most expensive.
Separately, Fulton Hogan won a share of Wellington City Council's $30m road maintenance contract, spanning the south and east of the capital city until June 2020. Wellington's other road maintenance contractor Downer EDI will continue to work the central city, north and west suburbs until June 2020.