Taramakau Road Bridge

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The existing bridge over the Taramakau River on the South Island of New Zealand is the last on the west coast of New Zealand to combine rail and road traffic, with vehicles needing to give way to trains on the bridge. Negotiating the rails has led to a serious crash history at the site.

Novara Desing of New Zealand appointed GHD to partner in the separation of the transport modes using the bridge.

The project to separate the transport modes responds to the New Zealand Transport Agency’s initiative for improving safety and efficiency on the network. The team achieved this by providing two new bridges – one over the Taramakau River and one over the existing railway line. The existing bridge will remain in place, and the railway will still operate over this bridge.

The project also includes an off-road pedestrian and cyclist facility, which is important due to the route’s location within the wider West Coast Wilderness Trail.

This project was a regionally accelerated project, it had to be delivered to a tight and politically important timeframe. GHD and Novare worked with the New Zealand Transport Agency, KiwiRail, and other key stakeholders, to achieve the tender date targeted at the commencement of the project.

The completed project will provide improved efficiency, safety and journey experience for all users, while significantly reducing maintenance costs for the existing bridge.

The cycle and pedestrian path will link into existing facilities, making it easier and safer to walk and bike around the area. The cycle links will also play a part in the growing tourism opportunities developing in the west coast such as the Wilderness Trail. Rail traffic will remain on the existing bridge, and this separation of road, rail and cycling/pedestrian traffic will improve both safety and efficiency.



Economic and population growth, greater urbanisation and increased mobility are boosting demand for new infrastructure and services straining the capacity and effectiveness of existing assets. Single mode approaches are no longer viable as governments and stakeholders recognise the need for multi-modal solutions across the whole integrated network.

Across the whole transport spectrum of airports, maritime, roads and highways, rail bridges and logistics, our team provides integrated transport services throughout the project lifecycle - from initial policy, transport planning, economics and business case advice, through concept, procurement, detailed design and construction to operations, maintenance and asset management.

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