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Kotuitui Whitinga Loop now boasts three award winning bridges

National award for Kotuitui Whitinga Loop now boasts three award winning bridges

The Waiarohia Stream foot and cycle bridge, Kotuitui Whitinga, has added to Whangarei’s reputation for great bridge building.

This weekend, in Taupo, it won the Civil Contractors of New Zealand Hirepool Construction Excellence Award for projects between $0.5M and $5M. The win for Steve Bowling Contracting follows the company’s success winning the CCNZ Northland Branch award for projects over $1M about two months ago.

Whangarei District Council’s 20/20 Inner City Development Committee Chairman Councillor Phil Halse said Whangarei was on a roll with three multiple award winning bridges on the Hatea Loop, and all of them developed by locals.

“Four years ago Whangarei Company Fabric Structure Systems won an Australasian award for the Canopy bridge. Te Matau a Pohe has won 12 national and international awards and now Kotuitui Whitinga is continuing the trend. Add these achievements to the Human Rights Commission Award for the Pou outside the Central Library, and the recent Green Flag Awards for Parihaka Reserve, and we really are cementing a reputation for excellence; it is all enriching our community and generating pride in Whangarei, within our residents.

“These awards spread the word far and wide that Whangarei is coming of age. As chairman of the 20/20 Committee it warms my heart. Best of all is the joy we witness every day of the year as thousands of people walk, cycle, drive and run though these environments.”

Bowling Infrastructure Group CEO Steve Bowling said judges were impressed that the bridge was a 100% local project.

“It was built by Northlanders, for Northlanders. They also liked the outstanding visual features including the raked piles and cantilevered walkway, the way they rise to a level carousel platform and then fall away in a lazy S bend.

“The judges said it stood out from other entries because of its striking visual impact which made it a crowd favourite. Typically construction isn’t a sexy industry. We believe this bridge changes that. The quality of the other entries were extremely high.”

Mr Bowling said his company decided to enter the award when viewing the concept from Grant Harris at HB Architecture.

“Initially it hadn’t crossed our minds, but once we saw it we knew we had something special, worthy of entry into the national awards. We knew this bridge was going to be iconic. There was huge interest from the Whangarei public as this was the final connection for the Hatea Loop Walkway.

“The difficulties encountered before and during the build in relation to the marine environment, the design, and being able to turn the architects vision into a reality made it extremely challenging. Our team wanted to deliver a successful project to the ratepayers of Whangarei to an extremely high standard of finish.”

He said the best part of the project was seeing the bridge being utilised daily by Whangarei residents and visitors.

“It is being used to its full potential and knowing that it was designed, engineered and constructed by 100% locally owned companies just adds to that.”

His team was ecstatic when the award was announced.

“We were a bit overwhelmed due to the calibre of the other entries. There was a big contingent of Northland Contractors at the awards and we certainly received the biggest cheer and applause for the evening. I think Kotuitui Whitinga was a favourite project for many attending the awards.”

Mr Bowling said five other entries had been accepted as finalists in the category. All the other entries were of a very high standard and generally from bigger corporate companies.

Kotuitui Whitinga is also a finalist in the New Zealand Institute of Building National Awards, winners to be announced on Friday in Auckland, and in the Project Management Institute of New Zealand National Awards, winners to be announced on 3 September at Te Papa in Wellington.


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