17 July 2018 | SOUTHERN REGION
New road bridge across Taramakau River completed in good time, planning for a safe event on Sunday 22 July underway
Less than two years after it was started, the NZ Transport Agency’s new $25 million road bridge across the Taramakau
River, between Kumara Junction and Greymouth, will be officially opened to traffic and people on Sunday afternoon, 22
Originally estimated to take two years to build, contractor Fulton Hogan has delivered the project in close to 18
“People will be able to walk and cycle the new bridge between 2.30pm and 4.30 pm on Sunday, after the blessing by Te
Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae. After 4.30 pm, it will be opened to traffic and the 132-year-old road-rail bridge will be
officially closed to road traffic,” says Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships Jim Harland.
“We understand that many West Coasters will be keen to travel across the old, single lane bridge for the last time as
close as they can to its closure to road traffic, but given the likely congestion, we advise people to do it sooner and
not wait until the last minute on Sunday.”
Mr Harland advised people that parking spaces on both sides of the bridge at Sunday’sopening would be limited and for
people to expect to walk a distance.
“We will be installing temporary speed restrictions from Kumara Junction to the bridge and back towards Greymouth to
allow parking and keep any pedestrians and cyclists on the highway safe. We ask that people make a special effort to
ensure this is a safe and enjoyable occasion for families and a great celebration for the wider West Coast.”
He asked all drivers to take care around a larger than usual number of cyclists and pedestrians on Sunday afternoon
between Kumara Junction and Gladstone near Greymouth.
The new bridge has a 2.5 metre wide pedestrian and cycling path on one side, forming part of the West Coast Wilderness Trail
, which links Greymouth, Kumara and Ross.
The two Taramakau Bridges:
The iconic entrance to the old road-rail, single lane bridge:
“The new bridge will provide a safer and more efficient transport link for West Coast locals and for tourists,” says Mr
Rail traffic will continue to use the existing bridge, with the realigned road passing over the existing rail line south
of the river.
Around 3,500 vehicles use the Taramakau Bridge each day, on State Highway 6.
“The new bridge means local business operators, freight vehicles and residents will no longer have to wait at each end
on their daily commutes.”