The Bay Link project achieved another construction milestone this week with placement of concrete beams across the first of the project's three bridges.
The 29m bridge spans the East Coast Main Trunk railway line and is one of two bridges to be constructed at the Te Maunga end of the project.
The second bridge will span State Highway 2 with the third bridge to be built at the Bayfair end of the project.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery Jo Wilton said it was great for the project to have progressed to this point.
"After spending so much time preparing the ground, it's pleasing to see the project taking shape above ground.
"The construction sequencing around this intersection has been complicated, with a number of changes to the intersection layout while we construct the different components," Wilton said.
Once operational, the bridge will carry all State Highway 29A traffic to and from the SH2 interchange, removing the need for motorists to cross the railway line and allowing traffic to flow more freely.
Following placement of the beams, which are the main structural element of the bridge, further work is required to complete the bridge deck and barriers along the edges.
"Getting the bridge in place was a collaborative effort working with Tauranga Airport and KiwiRail to ensure the cranes didn't impact the flight path or train movements. We're really pleased with how the installation went."
Work on the second bridge at Te Maunga will continue to progress in coming months.
Wilton said NZTA anticipated the bridges at Te Maunga would open to motorists at the end of this year.
• The bridge is made up of 12 super tee bridge beams.
• Constructed in Te Puke, each beam weighs 55 tonne, is up to 2.4 metres wide and is 29 metres in length.
• Beams were hoisted into place using a 52-metre-high, 450 tonne crane.