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Te Reinga Bridge opened

Te Reinga 3LR

After nearly two years of disruption and isolation, the Ruakituri, Erepeti and Te Reinga communities were reconnected this morning (19.02.24) with the opening of the temporary bridge.

The smiles were wide as local residents from either side of the bridge gathered on the new crossing to officially relink the rural communities.

The Te Reinga Bridge was initially damaged in the March/April 2022 weather events. It was closed to traffic while a temporary repair took place, which saw the bridge reopen under traffic restrictions in May 2022. The bridge was then further damaged in Cyclone Gabrielle, forcing its closure and demolition.

The new temporary bridge has taken a year to design and build, with continued wet weather during 2022 plaguing progress.

The temporary bridge spans the 92-metre river with the Bailey Bridge 42 metres in length.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said it was fantastic to see affected communities from either side of the bridge finally able to cross the bridge again to come together as one.

“We recognise how hard this has been on so many people, and again, we thank you for your patience. We appreciate your frustrations to have what was once a 20-minute drive to town turn into two hours and to look across the river and yet have no access.”

The Bailey Bridge has been cleared for general access (i.e. up to 100% Class 1 HCV), with a 10km/ hr speed limit and restriction of one heavy vehicle at a time. It will not be open for 50MAX or HPMV vehicles.

Minor works will continue on-site, including installing a surveillance system for the bridge to monitor for potential non-compliance and structural risk.

Due to safety requirements, people are asked to please not walk over the temporary bridge or jump off it as there is likely large debris under the water that is not visible from the surface.

 Te Reinga 1lr

There was a chain of vehicles waiting on the Ruakituri side of the river in readiness to cross the new Te Reinga temporary bridge which was opened this morning.


Te Reinga 6 Lowres


Teresa Smith was first to officially drive her vehicle over the new temporary Te Reinga Bridge.

19 February 2024

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