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Te Matau a Pohe to lift at noon every day

Te Matau a Pohe to lift at noon every day

Anyone wishing to see Whangarei’s new bridge Te Matau a Pohe raised and lowered will be able to do so at noon every day from now on.

“It’s unique shape and operating system is attracting attention from overseas visitors, domestic visitors and locals alike, so we decided to ensure there was one lift every day that anyone could watch, either on the bridge or from the shore,” said WDC Infrastructure and Services Group Manager Simon Weston.

“It is quite dramatic when the loud warning is announced that the bridge is going to be lifted, the siren sounds, the barriers come down and the lights start to flash. It is only when you are on the bridge or on a vessel passing through the gap that you actually realise how big it is and how gracefully it moves.”

Mr Weston said the bridge has received two awards at a national level now, has been nominated for another and for two British awards. It has also appeared in a number of industry magazines and in the recent Kia car advertisement on television.

It was commended in the 2014 New Zealand Concrete Society Awards Infrastructure Award and was highly commended in the Roading New Zealand Road Excellence Awards -- Z Excellence Award for a Major Project (greater than $25m). It was being considered for the New Zealand Master Builders Commercial Project Award (results yet to be announced), the Building Magazine International Project of the Year (results yet to be announced) and the United Kingdom Civic Trust Award (results to be announced in March).

It has also featured in the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand magazine, Bridge Design and Engineering Magazine, and several industry blogs.

Background to bridge lifts

It takes about 5 to 7 minutes for the bridge to go through the full cycle (open and close) and the intention is to do that every day at noon.

The bridge is not lifted at all during peak traffic the 7:15 to 8:45am and 4:00 to 5:30pm.

The rest of the time it is lifted by request from marine traffic between the flowing hours

Operating hours
Weekdays 8:45am to 4:00pm and 5:30pm to 8:00pm (excludes the 7:15 to 8:45am and 4:00 to 5:30pm peak traffic periods)
Weekends 6:00am to 9:00pm

Winter weekdays
8:45am to 4:00pm
Winter weekends
8:00am to 6:00pm

Response time
Vessels waiting can tie to the Marina Pontoons at each side of the bridge. During normal hours we would have a target response time of 5 minutes for the bridge to be opened from the time that a skipper makes their request.
Outside of normal operating hours the service would be on-call with a target response time of 30 minutes for the bridge to be opened from the time that they make their request.

Outside of normal operating hours skippers would be encouraged to ‘book’ a time for the bridge to open. Where a booking is made, the target response time shall be within 5 minutes of the time of their booking (subject to the vessel arriving on time).


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