Work to install two huge steel structures to form the central support of the new bridge to Peacocke marks a major milestone in the project for Hamilton’s newest suburb.
The steel structures weigh more than 200 tonnes each and are being lifted into place by one of the largest crawler cranes in the country.
Hamilton City Council’s Executive Director Strategic Infrastructure, Andrew Parsons said the stage is a massive milestone for the project and for the city.
“It’s the first new bridge for the city since the Pukete Bridge was completed in 1996 and will be the only traffic bridge in Hamilton to have no central support structures in the Waikato River – an important feature for our iwi partners,” said Mr Parsons.
The unique design of the bridge has the future of the city front of mind and incorporates cultural symbolism, environmental outcomes and some more practical elements, he said.
“The rust-coloured supports aren’t just visually stunning, they are a tangible outcome of Council’s long-term partnerships with iwi and tangata whenua since the start of the project.”
The steel structures were designed as woven lattices to represent te ao Maaori (Maaori worldview) and the interconnectivity of people, places and history. In their ‘V’ shape, the supports are anchored by the central bridge pier that is on the southern bank – not in the river.
“From a practical point of view, the steel structures are more cost effective, will need minimal maintenance and not a lick of paint in the coming years,” Mr Parsons said.
“In the coming months, the next bridge milestone is happening with the first beam lifted into the place that will connect the two sides of the river.”
The new bridge will have four vehicle lanes – two dedicated to public transport – and shared pedestrian and cycle paths on both sides, future-proofing the bridge for the nearly 20,000 Hamiltonians that will call the new community in Peacocke home. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2023 and is the key piece of the puzzle to allow housing development to start in Peacocke.
When completed, Peacocke will be home for up to 20,000 Hamiltonians.