The almost- $3 million approved for design work on a replacement for the Kopu Bridge – the one-lane bridge which travellers to the Coromandel queue at every summer – is a welcome announcement for Environment Waikato.
Land Transport New Zealand announced on Friday that $2.9 million would be brought forward this financial year for design work. The work, originally scheduled for 2009/10, was identified as one of two regionally significant projects in the Waikato for 2004/05, along with the Rangiriri bypass.
Environment Waikato’s Regional Land Transport Committee Chairman Angus Macdonald said he was pleased with the decision, which was well timed for the release of the Regional Land Transport Strategy in June 2006.
“The Kopu Bridge has been a major headache for travellers heading to the Coromandel every summer, as well as to regular daily commuters. The replacement can’t come soon enough for those people.”
The tender for the design work on the one lane bridge will go out in the New Year and mean significant improvements to traffic delays to and from the Coromandel Peninsula. Significant delays during summer traffic can often mean queues of over 14 kms either side of the bridge.
The existing Historic Places Trust-protected bridge will be developed as an historical attraction.
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