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Coastal queen gets a face-lift

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Coastal queen gets a face-lift

The iconic Te Rewa Rewa Bridge is about to get a full face-lift.

Following a successful trial last year, NPDC will repaint the rest of the bridge from top to bottom, including beneath the deck, in one go over 55 weeks.

The project starts today and the bridge will be closed for the next three days from 9am to 3pm for initial preparations. In a few weeks’ time the prepping and painting itself will begin, with the new paint being better able to withstand the abrasion of wind-blown sand.

“We’ll keep the bridge open as much as possible during the work. We’ll have to close it briefly when we’re moving the scaffolding and wrapping but we’ll time that to minimise disruption,” says NPDC Manager Infrastructure Projects Andrew Barron.

“We’ll have the two-way pedestrian tunnel that we used during our summer trial, which means people can keep using the bridge safely during the work.”

NPDC had originally planned to do the repainting over a series of summers. “By doing it all in one go, we’ll be working through only one summer,” says Barron. “Our summer start this year was delayed due to Covid affecting the contractor but we’ve got just the final engineering sign-off to go, which should take only a few more weeks.”

Barron says this is a particularly technical job given the design of the bridge, the weight of scaffolding that it can carry, its location across a river and the need to stop any materials falling into the river.

Fast facts:

  • The 68.8m bridge opened on 5 June 2010 as part of the Coastal Walkway’s extension to Bell Block
  • It was made possible following the signing of Te Rewa Rewa Agreement between Ngāti Tawhirikura and NPDC.
  • More than 260,000 walkers, cyclists, runners and skateboarders cross it every year.
  • The bridge has won national and international awards including the Arthur G. Hayden Medal for outstanding achievement in bridge engineering and the International Footbridge Awards’ aesthetics category for a medium-span bridge.