Company casts about for new bridge operators

By Mike Barrington

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Many are fishing for the role of operating Te Matau a Pohe, Whangarei's new bridge across the Lower Hatea River.

McKay, the city electrical firm which will operate the bridge under contract to the Whangarei District Council, advertised in the Northern Advocate for a team of bridge operators on Saturday and by yesterday had received 20 applications. More were expected to take the bait when the job was re-advertised on Wednesday and the company will sort through the applications next week.

McKay human resources manager Judith Galbraith said possibly three people would be needed to work shifts raising and lowering the bridge's distinctive fish-hook shaped bascule seven days a week.

The firm is seeking applicants with a mature outlook and semi-technical backgrounds. The bascule can be operated remotely, but for the first six months or more staff will be stationed in a control cabin on the bridge, manually raising it to enable boats with tall masts travelling on the river to get past. The bridge will be officially opened on July 27.

- Northern Advocate

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