Historic Kopu Bridge Project

In March 2018 New Zealand Transport Agency [NZTA] handed over the maintenance and financial responsibility of the bridge to the Kopu Bridge and Community Trust.

Back in October 2014 the Historic Kopu Bridge Society (now known as the Kopu Bridge and Community Trust) lobbyed our Council to support retaining the Historic Bridge, which was declared surplus to requirements by New Zealand Transport Authority and scheduled for demolition.

At that 2014 meeting Council resolved it would support in principle the retention of the Bridge, conditional on measures that meant there was no financial burden or risk to our ratepayers.

These measures include:

  • A long-term transferrable resource consent for future demolition being successfully achieved by NZTA.
  • That an external third-party entity be responsible for the operation, management and financial self-sustainability of the Bridge.
  • If the Bridge is demolished, Council will oppose any partial demolition proposals that retain only part sections of the Bridge.
  • That if the Bridge is demolished, that the swing arm be located on land at a site agreed to by our Council and Hauraki District Council, and at NZTA cost.

No item about the Old Kopu Bridge has been before Council since that last meeting in October 2014.


Background

The Historic Kopu Bridge Society put a proposal to New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to take over ownership of the bridge for heritage and community use. NZTA refused the local proposal, partly because it was worried that locals had underestimated the costs and problems would fall back on the taxpayer.

The Society  then asked for both ourselves and Hauraki District Council's involvement and support. At the time we have had our engineering team compare both NZTA's and the local groups' proposals. You're welcome to take a look at a summary from our Thames Area Manager here.

The Society (now a Trust) continued working with NZTA around ownership and future of the bridge with a resolution in March. Our Council has had no involvement in these arrangements.