Pepe Stream Bridge replacement options aired

The current Pepe Stream Bridge on State Highway 25 in Tairua. Photo: NZTA.

The importance of a safe, more resilient Tairua community came to the fore as people had their say on proposed Pepe Stream Bridge replacement options at Tairua School this week.

More than 70 people attended the public drop-in session held by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, with those who weren’t able to attend, able to provide their feedback online.

Waka Kotahi is working through a business case for replacement bridge options for the Pepe Stream Bridge.  The business case is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Director of Regional Relationships David Speirs says community input during the business case stage is a crucial part of the process.

“We’ve already heard from over 900 locals, community groups and businesses about how they use the bridge and how it might best serve their needs into the future, which helped us develop the short-list of proposed design options we shared with the community,” says David.

“The feedback so far has given us an understanding of what is most important to the people of Tairua. We know the community is overwhelmingly in favour of making the bridge two lanes and having a safe path for people who walk and cycle.

“It is also important that the proposed new bridge supports the community in feeling safe, connected and caters for future growth in the town,” says David.

Once the feedback period closes, Waka Kotahi will consider all feedback and use it to inform the business case. This will help determine the most appropriate bridge design to be taken forward for funding approval.

Once funding is approved, the bridge replacement will move into the detailed design and then construction phases.

“We’re committed to working with the Tairua community and keeping them informed as we confirm funding and timing for the design and construction phases. This will take time, but it’s important we get the design right and consider how we maintain access for everyone during construction of the bridge,” says David.

The Pepe Stream Bridge remains safe to use. Waka Kotahi has an active bridge maintenance, strengthening and replacement programme, which provides a good picture of the state of all state highway bridges.

“At all times, safety is our number one priority and Waka Kotahi carries out regular inspections to ensure all state highway bridges in New Zealand remain safe.”

For those who were unable able to attend the public drop-in session, they can view the proposed design options and other details related to construction and safety by clicking here.

Feedback is open until 5pm, Wednesday August 25.

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