Four of the 30 concrete beams for one of the two bridges (Bridge No.2) across the Matakohe River have been delivered, with the transporter making daily trips from Ranui in west Auckland to the construction site.
The journey of just over 140km usually takes about 2 hours by car but the transporter takes three and a half hours negotiating the route up State Highway 1 and along SH12 to Matakohe. The transporter uses a remote-controlled rear unit, called a jinker, to manoeuvre the 30m beams around tight corners.
The transporter leaves Fulton Hogan's fabrication site in Ranui in the early morning to beat Auckland's peak traffic and arrives at Matakohe between 6am and Midday depending on traffic along the route.
This week there will be one beam a day delivered until Friday. After Labour Weekend, there will be two deliveries a day Monday to Saturday.
"We know these deliveries are generating a lot of interest along the route. Unfortunately we can't give definite arrival times or guarantee there will be a delivery every day," NZTA Senior Manager Project Delivery Chris Hunt said.
"If you want to come out and see the transporter, please find a safe place that doesn't involve parking vehicles and standing on the road shoulder where the transporter will come past. And keep a close eye on children so they don't wander off. There are good safe viewing spots as the transporter passes through Paparoa and Maungaturoto on SH12."
When the transporter arrives, the beams are delivered through the site entrance on the east side of the Matakohe River. The transporter reverses down the haul road to the bridge site, where a large crane lifts the beams into place.
Lifting the bridge beams into place is a significant milestone in the project to build two new two-lane bridges on SH12 near Matakohe to replace two existing one-lane bridges. The new 3km alignment will remove the tight curves and short straights and will improve safety on this section of SH12. The project is due to be finished in the middle of next year.