Mangaweka Bridge Replacement
The new Mangaweka bridge was officially opened on 20 May 2022 and is now open to all traffic.
The existing historic 115-year-old bridge was closed for repairs in October 2016.
On inspection, it found that the timber beams were weakened beyond repair so the bridge was reopened with a maximum weight limit of 6 tonne.
Since then Council has been involved in the design and consenting process to construct a new bridge. The design is now complete, and contract documents are being finalised.
The project is now underway and will be completed by June 2022.
The existing bridge was built in 1904 and was going to be demolished after the new bridge was opened. However, there was a strong push to keep the historic bridge. So Rangitikei and Manawatu District Council decided to keep the bridge for pedestrians and cyclists to use. On-going maintenance of the old bridge will be funded by the Mangaweka Heritage Trust.
Tangata whenua and residents of Mangaweka came together today to unveil Te Pou Herenga Tangata and officially open the new Mangaweka Bridge.
Despite challenging weather, there was a huge turnout from the community, iwi, Rangitīkei and Manawatū District Councils and the construction teams involved in the project. This is testament to the level of collaboration involved in order to see the bridge opened ahead of schedule.
Mayor Andy Watson and Deputy Mayor Michael Ford acknowledged and thanked the many groups, organisations and individuals involved in making the project a success. Particularly, the community on both sides of the river whose voices kicked the project into gear.
The pou whenua, designed by Maihi Potaka on behalf of Ngāti Hauiti, symbolises the connection and strengthening of the Rangitīkei and Manawatū districts and marks the joining of the district’s people. Ngāti Hauiti representative Utiku Potaka, acknowledged this sentiment in his own whakaaro speaking on the connectedness to the land and to one another.
The old Mangaweka Bridge will have a future as a walking and cycleway and it maintains its historical significance as the only cantilever road bridge left in New Zealand.
The new bridge is now open for light traffic and heavy traffic.
22 April 2022
Mangaweka bridge nears completion. Opening planned for 20 May.
Despite material disruptions due to Covid-19 supply chain pressures, the new Mangaweka bridge will be operational two months earlier than expected.
The following tasks are due to be completed before the bridge can officially open:
- Construction of the approach on the Manawatu side
- Pouring of the concrete base for a pou
An opening ceremony has been planned for 20 May pending the timely completion of the tasks above.
The following tasks will be completed after the opening ceremony and will not affect bridge users:
- Completion of the Awastone entrance
- Landscaping and planting
- Installation of a pou to commemorate the significance of the project
14 March 2022
The joint project between Rangitīkei District Council and Manawatū District Council to build a new bridge at Mangaweka is expected to be completed ahead of time, in June, one month earlier than the anticipated July completion date.
As part of the construction and testing programme, some vehicles had been given access over the new bridge; that phase is now complete. Further construction is programmed for the future, but the bridge will not be open for public use until all aspects of the project are complete.
The completion of the entire project will be celebrated with a formal opening.
Construction timelapse of the new bridge
4 March 2021
Progress photos of the construction of the new bridge at Mangaweka.