The single lane bridge just north of Kaeo township and the adjoining SH10/Whangaroa Road intersection are a safety concern for the local community, visitors and other road users.
The Kaeo Bridge is located on the Twin Coast Discovery Route, Northland’s main tourist route, and provides access to visitor destinations such as Doubtless Bay, Karikari Peninsula and Cape Reinga.
During peak visitor season, the bridge becomes a bottleneck, creating delays for everyone. Many of those driving across the bridge are not familiar with one-lane bridges and the need to give way can cause confusion.
This project is still in the design stage but will feature a new two-lane bridge across the Kaeo River and a roundabout to improve traffic flow through this section of road.
The SH10 Kaeo Bridge project will improve road safety and reduce peak season vehicle queuing along the state highway.
By making it safer and easier to move through the intersection and over the bridge, the project will improve the experience of visitors, freight traffic and other road users travelling the Twin Coast Discovery Route. This supports Northland’s tourism industry and broader economic development.
The new bridge design will have minimal impact on the area as the route is over land that is already cleared, and it crosses the Kaeo River without changing the riverbed, banks or flow.
This area is low lying and extreme weather events cause frequent flooding. The new bridge is being designed to avoid any adverse upstream impacts to Kaeo.
The bridge will be the same height as the previous one so that the embankment at the western end doesn’t need to be higher – this may have created a damming effect when waters are high.
In addition, at 110m, the new bridge will be over twice as long as the old bridge. This means that a larger volume of water will be able to flow underneath it.
These dates are a best estimate based on current information and may be subject to change.
Oct 2020 – earthworks commence
April 2021 – construction of new bridge begins
March 2022 – traffic moved onto new bridge
Sept 2022 – all works complete, including removal of old bridge.
Funding for this project is from the National Land Transport Fund.