Temporary delays at Kopu Bridge celebrations

By Mathew Dearnaley

After a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Kopu Bridge tomorrow the public will be invited to walk over it. Photo / NZTA
After a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Kopu Bridge tomorrow the public will be invited to walk over it. Photo / NZTA

Transport officials are warning of more delays tomorrow around the Kopu Bridge traffic bottleneck - but only because of a public walk over a replacement river crossing.

The Transport Agency hopes the delays will be the last motorists will have to endure at the site now it has completed a two-lane bridge to replace the single-file structure that has served for 84 years as the Coromandel Peninsula's main gateway.

Although the first traffic could be allowed across the new $40 million bridge over the Waihou River and approach roads by Monday, the agency is reluctant to commit its contractors to a set date next week for tying it into State Highway 25.

But it is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony tomorrow morning, to be attended by Transport Minister Steven Joyce and possibly Prime Minister John Key, although his office would not confirm that yesterday.

The opening ceremony will be held between 9.30am and 10.30am, after which the public is invited to walk over the new bridge, which is just south of the old structure and includes a shared pedestrian and cycling path as well as two traffic lanes.

That event is expected to cause delays on the old bridge, while those keen to walk across the new structure head for car parks being made available on its western side as well as at the Thames Golf Club, from which shuttle buses will run.

Entertainment and refreshments will be provided at the Kopu end of the new bridge.

- NZ Herald

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