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State Highway 25A progress.

From Waka Kotahi website.

This is an extract from Waka Kotahi website on latest progress on thIs badly needed road - 30 June 2023

Physical works are underway for construction of the bridge reconnecting State Highway 25A Taparahi. A bridge of this type would normally be expected to take 12 to 14 months to construct, but Waka Kotahi is working with the consortia to accelerate delivery and get the route open in nine months’ time, by the end of March 2024.

This includes contractors working extended hours at the work site and working seven days a week where possible. Up to 100 people will be working at the SH25A site with additional labour dedicated to offsite works, such as prefabrication of bridge components. Workers will be divided into two teams working two 12-hour shifts, with 80 percent of the crew housed locally on the peninsula. While contract negotiations with the preferred consortia are ongoing, there has been no delay to the work programme.

A dawn blessing took place at the site earlier this week, signalling the formal start of enabling works. Drainage works are underway with earthworks to build all-weather access tracks for heavy machinery the next job ahead. Over the last fortnight, project ecologists and the design and construction team have been visiting the site to confirm design assumptions and develop construction methodologies. Drilling to confirm the founding depth of the piles at the location of the bridge abutments began last Wednesday. Pile casings have been ordered and are on track to be in the country by the end of July, with piling getting underway in August. Over the next two months, a platform will be built to support the cranes required for the build.

The above follows on five days after a challenge was issued to the former Minister of Transport, Minister Woods, as to the changing completion dates and the length of time it had taken to research the broken area of highway and come up with a proposal and put the project out for tender. (Remember, no outside advice as in from other countries was sought for this project.)

This is an extract from Times Online website: 15 June 2023

The Member of Parliament for Pakuranga, Simeon Brown, said in May, “The then-Transport Minister Wood issued a statement saying the bridge replacement for the cyclone damaged road would be completed by early 2024. “However, in response to questions from the National Party, Labour confirmed the road could be closed until August 2024, with construction expected to take up to 14 months to complete,” says Brown. “With construction yet to begin, this could be pushed out even further.”

Editor’s comment: This was devastating news for the Coromandel on 15 June with the thought of the community being cut off for longer with more economic devastation, but now we have the new announcement on 30 June.

It would be hasty to celebrate as we did at the opening of the Medical Centre. The opposition is sure that the Labour Government has mishandled the response to State Highway 25A, taking months to decide how to replace the road, saying, “This should have all been done within days of the road collapsing, not taken months, furthering the delays and disruption further into next year.”

However, now we have a new date and it is for the ‘glass half full’ voters to cheer the completion date that has just been announced. It is hard not to envy other comparable projects in other places (not new Zealand) that have been completed at a faster pace and with less hesitancy and changes of scale and date. It is hard to believe that this is the only place in the world with this particular kind of road surface in this particular terrain that makes the problem unique. But then who wants to be a ‘glass half empty’ voter? We have to trust at least until the next announcement. I think the go word is be ‘resilient.’

Caption: Artist's impression of the bridge design, showing crane location.


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