Lower Hatea River Crossing

The $32m NZ Lower Hatea River Crossing is part of a plan to both significantly reduce traffic congestion by routing 8-10,000 vehicle movements per day away from the central business district and also improve the pedestrian environment around the central Town Basin within the northern coastal city of Whangarei, New Zealand. The bridge includes a 265m crossing of the tidal estuary and provides a fixed minimum headroom for river users of 7.5m and a 25m-wide opening section to allow taller yachts to transit the bridge.

The brief demanded minimum delay to road traffic users when the bridge is raised and this became the key influence on the architectural form of the bridge.  The client also aspired for the bridge to be a public landmark that would be identified with Whangarei, and Northland in general, and requested that the bridge reflect the art and culture of the Maori people who first settled the area.  This aspect was particularly important in strengthening community relations and the approval of the Maori elders was sought alongside planning permission.

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