Bridge opening ends delays and frustration
Traveller’s will be happy to once again access Mangawhai unhindered by delays through a main arterial route now a bridge repair has been given the all clear, two weeks before the due finishing date.
Originally built in 1954, Tomorata/Insley Street Bridge is now open to simultaneous two-way traffic after four months of repairs.
A blessing ceremony given by local kaumatua Rex Nathan, was held on March 13 to officially reopen the crossing, attended by Kaipara District Council (KDC) mayor Jason Smith, council staff and councillors, bridge contractors, NZTA employees as well as Mangawhai Beach School principal Aaron Kemp and select students.
Deemed unsafe in December 2018 after structural defects caused by age, sea water and corroding concrete were discovered, in July 2019 KDC awarded the $2.05 million contract to repair and remediate the bridge to leading civil engineering provider Freyssinet NZ Ltd, a task they completed two weeks before the predicted date.
Council spokesperson Ben Hope says although it is safe for drivers to use the bridge, a few things are still needed ‘to tidy up and finish’.
“There are still some bumps on the road coming onto the bridge at both ends which will be sorted in the next two weeks, weather depending, and once sorted, asphalt will be laid. This will need to then sit and set for a month before we lay chipseal across the whole bridge,” he says. “The speed sign will also be replaced once it arrives in country.”
Commuters have a smooth crossing now the 66-year-old Tomorata/Insley Bridge is open with both lanes after extensive repairs.