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Matapiro Bridge

Key points for consideration

  • Temporary crossing challenges: A temporary crossing has provided short-term relief but is vulnerable during significant rainfall events.
  • Alignment choice: Reconstructing the bridge on the existing alignment is deemed the optimal approach to meet the required timeline and stakeholder expectations.
  • Environmental considerations: The impact on fish spawning in the river is being carefully considered throughout the project's planning.
  • Project timeline: The goal is to deliver a permanent replacement structure by mid-to late 2025.
  • Bridge design: A two lane bridge with no shared user path has been confirmed as the preferred option for Matapiro Bridge replacement.


Matapiro Bridge was a three-span concrete T-beam bridge with a concrete deck, constructed in approximately 1955. The substructure included two piers consisting of four slender square columns, a pier and two solid wall abutments.

Bridge length 37.2m
Span arrangement  11.3m, 14.6m, 11.3m
Bridge width 8.0m
Carriageway width 7.3m
Lane arrangement  2/3.65m incl. shoulders

Following the destruction of the concrete bridge during Cyclone Gabrielle, a temporary culverted crossing was deemed an acceptable solution. 


  • Demolition is complete
  • Crushed concrete material from demolition is available to be reused in the rebuild to minimise environmental impacts
  • Steel material has been recycled locally

Matapiro Bridge demolition

Design considerations

  • Two lanes
  • Increased height due to flood risk
  • Increased pile depth
  • Earthquake considerations
  • Best practice engineering guidelines and standards

Community meetings

HDC are aiming to hold a community meeting in early 2024. Details of community meetings, will be added here, as and when confirmed.


Karakia to bless the demolition of the damaged bridge June 2023
Feasibility study completed July 2023
Demolition of damaged bridge June – July 2023
Mana whenua engagement September 2023, ongoing
Temporary crossing works completed September 2023
Geotechnical testing on site  September 2023
Ecological and cultural impact assessments December 2023– February 2024
Community meeting TBC
Pre-application discussions with Hawke's Bay Regional Council (HBRC) January – February 2024
Draft methodology and construction drawings TBC
Tender process to confirm contractor  TBC
Resource consent lodgement and processing February-March 2024
Packaged design delivery TBC
Blessing ahead of works beginning TBC
Works begin Late 2024/Early 2025
Public open day TBC
Blessing to open bridge Mid-2025

Works completed to date

A feasibility study has been conducted to assess and the engineering challenges linked to each potential bridge crossing location. The study aims to propose bridge concepts that are achievable from an engineering standpoint. The feasibility report is based on the following:

  • Geometrics
  • Hydrology and climate effects
  • Geotechnical/geology considerations
  • Environmental considerations
  • Constructability
  • Cost
  • Social impacts
  • Other factors

The team have also completed/in the process for completing:

  • Ecological impact assessment
  • Archaeological assessment
  • Land contamination testing
  • Geotechnical borehole testing
Matapiro Temporary Crossing

Temporary crossing as at 4/12/2023


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