Matamata-Piako District mayor Ash Tanner is a man known for getting things done. Like the time he put up his own 50km/h speed limit signs near a local school after being frustrated at the wait for Waka Kotahi to do the job.
Now he's at it again, but this time with the blessing of the national transport agency. On Friday, April 8, Tanner will be leading a spray team of volunteers to tackle moss and lichen growing on the historic Te Aroha bridge.
This time Waka Kotahi NZTA has issued a media statement advising drivers and pedestrians about the work and to take care crossing the bridge. "Work will get under way around 9am and is expected to take 2 to 5 hours depending on how receptive the mossy growth is to the mayor's efforts," the statement says.
Stop/Go traffic management will be in place for vehicles and a dedicated pedestrian controller will be in place to ensure pedestrians can cross safely.
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Waka Kotahi advises people that despite the bridge's historic status, any back-pack sprayers they see are not ghost busters – but moss-busters giving a little love to the gateway to Te Aroha.
Some say that it is fitting that the district mayor is leading the spruce up.
"Coulter Bridge in Te Aroha was built in 1928 and named after Robert Coulter, a former mayor of Te Aroha for 20 years. Now it's getting a clean-up by one of Coulter's successors," says Waka Kotahi system manager Cara Lauder.
The bridge spans the Waihou River and connects thousands of vehicles each day to the Waikato and Coromandel.
"While we understand that the public will be intrigued to see the mayor in mould fighting form, we ask that pedestrians traverse the bridge as quickly as possible to ensure the spraying works can continue safely," says Lauder.
The moss removal is part of efforts to beautify the historic bridge, with painting to follow, and is weather dependent.