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Traffic flows over new West Coast asset

“I hope everyone who travels over this bridge does so safely. Thank you to all who helped construct it; it’s a wonderful West Coast asset.”

With those words Cabinet Minister and West Coast MP Damien O’Connor cut the ribbon and declared the new $25 million Taramakau Bridge open. It spans the Taramakau River, between Kumara Junction and Greymouth.

Fulton Hogan delivered the project to the client, the NZ Transport Agency, six months ahead of schedule. Senior managers, staff and subcontractors were among those who attended the community-based event that marked its official opening on 22 July.

After a blessing by local iwi, many took the chance to walk or bike over the bridge before it was made available for traffic and the 132-year-old road-rail bridge alongside was closed to vehicles.

It took 100,000 man hours to build the new two-lane bridge, realign a section of SH6, build an overpass to take traffic over the railway line, create an off-road cycle and pedestrian link and construct 1.5km of new road.

Fulton Hogan’s NZ CEO Graeme Johnson speaks at the official opening ceremony held near the Taramakau Bridge on the West Coast.