Tourism-related projects near completion

PRESS RELEASE: Transport Minister Simon Bridges

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says the first of three tourism-related transport projects in the Gisborne-Tairāwhiti region is nearing completion.

“The Horoera Bridge leading to the historic East Cape lighthouse will be replaced in a four-day operation from 24 July,” Mr Bridges says.

The $400,000 project replaces the current bailey bridge with a single-lane concrete bridge. It is the first in a $1.5 million package of three, fully Crown-funded tourism-related roading projects originally announced in February at the release of the Tairāwhiti Economic Action Plan (He Huarahi Hei Whai Oranga).

“The new bridge will support tourist vehicles such as buses and campervans, allowing a growing number of tourists to drive right to the foot of New Zealand’s most easterly lighthouse,” Mr Bridges says.

It will also support High Productivity Motor Vehicles and boost the resilience of the route.

The Horoera Bridge project is being delivered by Tairāwhiti Roads, a partnership between the NZ Transport Agency and Gisborne District Council.

The section of East Cape Road from the bridge to the lighthouse will be closed on 24 July for four days while the new bridge is craned into place. Vehicles will be able to use the bridge from 9:00am on 28 July, and the project’s completion will be managed over the following three weeks with minimum inconvenience to traffic.

Work is also progressing on two other Crown-funded tourism-related transport initiatives in the Tairāwhiti region. The $700,000 upgrade of rest area facilities along State Highway 35 will develop safe stopping places and facilities for tourists, as well as information boards promoting regional attractions.

The $400,000 project to improve the 7km cycle link between the State Highway 2 Rere Falls Heartland Ride and the Motu Trails Great Ride will significantly enhance safety for cyclists and general traffic.

“These three projects directly reflect the roading and tourism priorities developed as part of the Tairāwhiti Economic Action Plan – particularly the need for investment in core tourism infrastructure and development of visitor services around the East Cape Lighthouse, Tokomaru Bay wharf and cycle tourism,” Mr Bridges says.

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