News release

29 July 2009
Kopu Bridge replacement gets underway

The start of work on the replacement of Kopu Bridge is another example of the National-led Government moving fast on developing all-important infrastructure, says Prime Minister John Key.

“The Government recognises the importance of developing our infrastructure to help boost the economy and create jobs,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key today attended a sod-turning ceremony at the bridge near Thames to mark the start of work to replace the ageing structure which dates from 1928.

The project will cost $47 million and take three years to complete. When construction is in full swing, up to 50 people will be working full-time on the site, with another 100 people involved in supplying materials and providing supporting services.

“The start of work on the new Kopu Bridge will come as a huge relief to those who rely on it, particularly during peak holiday times when queues up to 10kms long have frustrated motorists.

“The start of construction was brought forward from early 2011 as a result of the Government’s $500 million Jobs and Growth Plan announced earlier this year.

“National was elected on a platform of unclogging the country’s economic arteries. The Government believes that more investment in infrastructure will boost productivity, unlock economic potential, lift non-inflationary growth, and generate employment.”


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#1 - Jennifer Lewis 2009-07-30 09:53 - (Reply)

Building that bridge will absolutely transform the Coromandel region. My husband and I are in week 2 of a 4 week trip to NZ from the U.S. to investigate business opportunities in NZ and have very quickly figured out that the transportation infrastructure here is a major impediment to economic growth in NZ. We were actually in Thames yesterday as well and commented as we waited to cross that 90 year old 1 lane bridge that it must seriously choke off the traffic into that area. An Auckland couple we met at lunch in Danbys agreed. Not to mention that both the museums in town that the Info Center staff sent us to visit turned out to be closed. This was majorly frustrating after a 3 hour journey there which was lenghtended by sitting in traffic around Auckland for over an hour at 10:30 am. The fact that you major North South motorway the 1 is essentially 2 lanes from your 2 biggest cities on the North Island and essentially has no service stops along the way is quite frankly very surprising to us. Although as a U.S. residents with a strong economic and legal educations and intimate familiarity with the current financial crisis - there is a upside to all this. Could it be that small roads/transportion infrastructure are what has lead to NZ incredible proliferation of small businesses which may well be the reason you are faring better than places like the US and UK because you avoid the systemic risks associated with the Too Big To Fail policies of the US and the UK????? Also, you are better able to avoid announcing huge (in the thousands) of employment layoffs.

#2 - Grant Rankin 2009-08-04 18:36 - (Reply)

One has to agree with our North American visitors, having lived in Texas for many years, I am stunned by the approach the Government employees have to projects of this minor size. Why ? do so many state servants get approval for a project to enhance our highways then chose to build only 2 lanes, the problems are caused by lack of fore-thought, build 3 lanes now and save money later. We have numerous 1 lane bridges in this country and what are they going to do, wait another 80 years to solve those bottle necks, we need people in office who think outside the box not bury their heads inside it.Mr Key lets look at the Road Toll it does not get any lower with poor Roading.

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