Forgotten World Highway improvements continue with construction of new bridge

Transport

Construction of a new bridge is underway on the Forgotten World Highway, east of Stratford, which is part of a package of improvements that will boost local tourism and economic activity in the area, Associate Minister of Transport Kiri Allan announced today.

“Our regions are the backbone of Aotearoa and it’s exciting to see the Kahouri Stream Bridge project get underway in such a picturesque part of the country,” Kiri Allan said.

“The Forgotten World Highway is not only an iconic tourist route, but also an important link for mana whenua, local communities, and businesses.

“The bridge is part of a $30m investment by the Government towards improvements for the Forgotten World Highway that will attract more tourists to the area and boost economic activity by an estimated $35 to $45 million, helping to create new jobs in the area.

“The existing one lane bridge, which was built in 1908, will also be repurposed as a historic walking and cycling route which means commuters will have even more travel options.”

The new bridge is expected to be complete by early 2024 and will better accommodate increased traffic volumes and freight. New straighter alignments will be created approaching the bridge to reduce the risk of crashes, increasing safety for locals and visitors. 

Other works the Government is investing in as part of the overall package of improvements include the sealing of the Tāngāraku Gorge, safety improvements and culvert replacements.

“It’s estimated these improvements will bring 13,000 more visitors to Taranaki each year, and encourage more people to travel from Tongariro National Park through to Egmont National Park,” Kiri Allan said.