For J Swap Contractors, it's hard to get a more local job than building the new bridge over the Mangawhero Stream on State Highway 27.
J Swap have been awarded the construction contract to build the replacement bridge alongside the existing one around 7km south of Matamata, where they have been based for the past 80 years. Earthworks for the new bridge began last month.
"As a business that's proud to be part of the local community, we're delighted to be building this bridge that improves safety for traffic travelling to and from Matamata," says J Swap Civil general manager Shanan Mowatt.
Waka Kotahi NZTA regional manager infrastructure delivery Jo Wilton says the existing Mangawhero Stream bridge, built in 1934, has a poor safety record due to its narrowness and the unexpected curves in the road leading up to it.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"This bridge and its approaches have seen a number of crashes, including two fatalities, between 2010 and 2020.
"Replacing it is an important step in making journeys in the east Waikato safer."
The new 80m-long bridge will be built to the east of the existing one and allowing the road to be realigned to remove the dangerous curves.
This stretch of highway is a busy freight route, and the new bridge will be able to take the new generation of heavier trucks, known as High Productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMVs).
The bridge is expected to be open to traffic by the middle of 2023.