Work is to begin on a $10 million job to replace a Whangārei bridge that has caused traffic bottlenecks.
Whangārei District Council said work is about to begin on a new bridge across Limeburners Creek, removing the traffic bottleneck and providing a safe walking and cycling link along Port Rd.
United Civil Construction was awarded the contract to build a new bridge parallel to the existing bridge when the matter went before the council in July.
When completed in June 2022, the new bridge will provide two lanes for traffic heading out of Whangārei and a 3m-wide walking and cycling path, and the old bridge will carry two lanes of traffic towards the town, providing four lanes overall, the council said.
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Traffic disruption during the works will be kept to a minimum as most of the project is being built outside of existing traffic lanes. Night work and weekend work will also take place to limit traffic delays.
Work has already been carried out over the past two months moving underground services, which will speed up construction.
However, the work means the boat ramp beside the existing bridge will be closed to keep people safe during construction. An alternative boat ramp by the coolstores at the southeast end of Port Rd can be used instead for a gold coin donation.
Once the work is completed the Hāhā / Limeburners Creek boat ramp will be reopened but will be limited to hand-launched vessels such as dinghies, kayaks, waka ama and paddleboards.
This project is being funded by Kānoa, the regional economic development and investment unit of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), as part of the Government's "shovel ready" Covid-19 response plan.
A funding application has been made to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency for the second stage of the project, a $6m upgrade of the nearby Port Rd/Kioreroa Rd intersection. This funding is still to be approved.
The new bridge will be higher than the old bridge to protect it against sea-level rise and flooding due to storm events.