Motu Bridge replacement confirmed

New bridge on the way as part of the Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Programme.

New bridge on the way as part of the Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Programme.

Motu Bridge

THE Government has confirmed a new multimillion-dollar bridge will be built over the Motu River later this year as a further improvement to the region’s road network.

At present, the Motu Bridge is the only remaining one-lane bridge on State Highway 2 between Gisborne and Opotiki but needs ongoing maintenance to be kept in service.

“That’s why the Government has committed $3 to $5 million to replace it,” Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

“Currently, if the bridge is closed, commuters are forced to travel an extra two hours via the East Cape route along SH35, which also affects the movement of freight and the local farming community.

“Last year, as part of a wider transport visit to the region, I visited the bridge to get a better understanding of the need for its replacement.

“It was clear to me that a new two-lane bridge will improve safety and provide more predictable and reliable travel times.”

Construction is expected to start before the end of this year and it is expected to take 12 months to complete.

Procurement for the design contract will commence shortly, with the designer to be chosen through a competitive tendering process.

Mr Bridges said the new bridge would strengthen the region’s primary link with the Bay of Plenty and help boost economic growth and productivity on the East Coast.

“I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of the local MP Anne Tolley, who has advocated strongly for this project and for construction to start as soon as possible.”

Text messages from the MayorRegular text messages from Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon also made “a real difference”, he said.

The project is part of the Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Programme announced by the Prime Minister in 2014. It is designed to speed up the delivery of transport projects considered important to regions.

The announcement follows the completion last year of a $1.2 million project to build a new passing lane at Panikau Hill and a slow vehicle bay at Wallis Hill at Whangara on SH35 north of Gisborne, which was also delivered under the ARRP.

East Coast MP Anne Tolley said the announcement was good news.

“This is yet more good news for our region’s roads and the local economy, and comes on top of the $120 million Gisborne transport package announced by the National Government last year.

“The new Motu Bridge will deliver a better and more efficient passage for freight drivers, who transport the majority of Gisborne’s produce north over State Highway 2.

“Many people have campaigned for this upgrade and I’m absolutely delighted to have advocated for this investment in our roads.”

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon said he was “very happy” to hear a new bridge would be built.

“Minister Bridges has kept his promise when he mentioned at the Panikau Hill SH35 passing lane opening that the Motu Bridge was going to be replaced.

“Anne Tolley and I have been working behind the scenes to make this happen. Roading is a lifeline infrastructure and very important to Tairawhiti.”

The news would provide confidence for all road users, especially those involved in bringing produce, goods and services in and out of the region.

“In fact, all major roading projects have benefits to Gisborne /East Coast, as we rely on our roads to get our produce on time and at the best price.”

THE Government has confirmed a new multimillion-dollar bridge will be built over the Motu River later this year as a further improvement to the region’s road network.

At present, the Motu Bridge is the only remaining one-lane bridge on State Highway 2 between Gisborne and Opotiki but needs ongoing maintenance to be kept in service.

“That’s why the Government has committed $3 to $5 million to replace it,” Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

“Currently, if the bridge is closed, commuters are forced to travel an extra two hours via the East Cape route along SH35, which also affects the movement of freight and the local farming community.

“Last year, as part of a wider transport visit to the region, I visited the bridge to get a better understanding of the need for its replacement.

“It was clear to me that a new two-lane bridge will improve safety and provide more predictable and reliable travel times.”

Construction is expected to start before the end of this year and it is expected to take 12 months to complete.

Procurement for the design contract will commence shortly, with the designer to be chosen through a competitive tendering process.

Mr Bridges said the new bridge would strengthen the region’s primary link with the Bay of Plenty and help boost economic growth and productivity on the East Coast.

“I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of the local MP Anne Tolley, who has advocated strongly for this project and for construction to start as soon as possible.”

Text messages from the MayorRegular text messages from Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon also made “a real difference”, he said.

The project is part of the Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Programme announced by the Prime Minister in 2014. It is designed to speed up the delivery of transport projects considered important to regions.

The announcement follows the completion last year of a $1.2 million project to build a new passing lane at Panikau Hill and a slow vehicle bay at Wallis Hill at Whangara on SH35 north of Gisborne, which was also delivered under the ARRP.

East Coast MP Anne Tolley said the announcement was good news.

“This is yet more good news for our region’s roads and the local economy, and comes on top of the $120 million Gisborne transport package announced by the National Government last year.

“The new Motu Bridge will deliver a better and more efficient passage for freight drivers, who transport the majority of Gisborne’s produce north over State Highway 2.

“Many people have campaigned for this upgrade and I’m absolutely delighted to have advocated for this investment in our roads.”

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon said he was “very happy” to hear a new bridge would be built.

“Minister Bridges has kept his promise when he mentioned at the Panikau Hill SH35 passing lane opening that the Motu Bridge was going to be replaced.

“Anne Tolley and I have been working behind the scenes to make this happen. Roading is a lifeline infrastructure and very important to Tairawhiti.”

The news would provide confidence for all road users, especially those involved in bringing produce, goods and services in and out of the region.

“In fact, all major roading projects have benefits to Gisborne /East Coast, as we rely on our roads to get our produce on time and at the best price.”

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