Thursday, 26 November 2020


National promises upgrade of one-lane bridges

The upgrade of three one-lane bridges on the Coromandel Peninsula forms part of a transport package the National’s Party’s transport spokesperson, Chris Bishop, unveiled in Katikati on Friday last week.

Other projects National will deliver if elected to government in September include a full Tauranga to Katikati expressway and improvements to State Highway 2 between Pokeno and Mangatarata.

The three bridges on the Coromandel that will be upgraded are the Bailey bridge were State Highway 25 crosses the Hikuai River and the Pepe Stream and Grahams Stream bridges in Tairua.

“The New Zealand Transport Agency said in 2018 that upgrading of [these] one-lane bridges would not occur for at least a decade, from 2029 onwards,” Mr Bishop said. “National will bring these forward and complete them in our first term. Funding will come from within National’s record transport infrastructure funding envelope.”

Talking about the package in general, Mr Bishop said, “National’s vison is to transform Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga into one economic powerhouse, unlocking their potential so the upper North Island becomes Australasia’s most dynamic region.

“By delivering high-quality, efficient transport links we will get our economy growing faster.”

National Party MP for the Coromandel electorate, Scott Simpson, described the package as a huge win for the Coromandel and the Western Bay of Plenty. “Coromandel Peninsula road users have had to put up with seriously outdated and inadequate one-lane bridges for years, he said. “Our commitment to replacing the three most problematic bridges on State Highway 25 at [Hikuai and] Tairua will be an important first step to resolving horrendous traffic jams there during peak periods such as long weekends and over the summer. 

“There are never going to be fewer people living, working or holidaying on the Coromandel Peninsula…

“[National’s] Coromandel/Bay of Plenty [transport] package will transform the region and can’t come soon enough.”

In the lead up to the general election on Saturday, 19 September, The Informer will report on election promises affecting the wider Mercury Bay Area. Only promises from parties currently represented in Parliament will be covered.

We will also form time-to-time provide an update on the candidates who will be contesting the Coromandel electorate in the election. As at Friday last week, Scott Simpson (National), Nathaniel Blomfield (Labour), Michael Egleton (New Conservative), Pamela Grealey (Greens), Rob Hunter (Opportunities) and Georgia Todd (Outdoors) have thrown their hats in the ring.


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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.