Bridge destroyed by floods replaced after just six days of construction Bridge destroyed by floods replaced after just six days of construction

Date: 7 February 2023

Auckland Transport (AT) has quickly re-instated Mill Flat Road Bridge in Riverhead. The bridge was washed away during the heavy flooding on Friday 27 January, cutting around 200 residents off.

By the afternoon on Waitangi Day residents were again able to travel over the Rangitopuni Stream.

The new bridge is a temporary Bailey Bridge that will be in place until a permanent replacement is designed and built.

Rodney Local Board Deputy Chair Louise Johnston is thrilled that a bridge is now in place.

“This is brilliant news for the Mill Flat Road residents. A massive thank you to all those involved, this delivery is the definition of collaboration,” she says.

AT Stakeholder Manager for North West Road Maintenance Johan Swanepoel says it took a team effort. 

“The project was a collaboration between AT, Downer NZ and Waka Kotahi with more than 35+ people from the three organisations helping to make it happen,” he says.

“We also have to say thank you to Rayonier from Matariki Forests who run the Riverhead Forest. They opened their forestry road for us on Saturday and let residents use it, giving us a way in and out. For those without 4WD vehicles, part of the road proved a little challenging but the community pulled together.”

Mr Swanepoel says that this is a great result for Riverhead but there is still so much to do across the region to re-open flood damaged transport infrastructure.

“Over the past 10 or so days we have had over 84 road closures due to slips, flooding, and now that number sits at 24 road closures. We have had over 500 crew out there working around the clock to get these back open as quickly as possible.”

Downer NZ’s General Manager for Transport – Northern, Rob Mackie, says:

“The Downer structures team transported the Bailey bridge modular units up from Hawke's Bay and arrived on Tuesday, 31 January. They immediately set to work assembling the bridge and extending it out over the stream.”

“The bridge consists of 2,278 pieces with an estimated weight of nearly 80t delivered to site and a full truckload of running wood.”

“Thank you to all the stakeholders and collaborative efforts by AT with our Downer team to make this happen so quickly”

The bridge will be closed for a short period tonight while the approaches to the bridge are asphalted.