Manganui Gorge bridge visualisation
Image: DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


A 100 m long suspension bridge across the Manganui Gorge will become one of the impressive new features of the Taranaki Crossing.

Date:  06 December 2022

Tenders have opened for construction of the bridge, which will be funded through the $13.3 million investment made by the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund into the Taranaki Crossing project which will enhance the visitor experience on Taranaki maunga.

The crossing project will see 25 km of tracks improved, creating a mix of short walks and longer tramps. It will also minimise the impact of visitors on the maunga environment.

The project has ongoing support from Kānoa - Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit, which has welcomed this significant Taranaki Crossing project milestone.

Operations Manager Gareth Hopkins says the new bridge will connect the Plateau carpark with the only ski field on the maunga, via a 30-minute walk.

“The new bridge will be a key feature of Taranaki Crossing, a network of upgraded track from Dawson Falls to Mangorei Road end” Gareth Hopkins says.

“We have a design confirmed, incorporating a 1.2 m wide deck and towers up to 22 m high. It’s an eye-catching design, the bridge designer has been working on an elegant yet strong design that sits slightly hidden up the Manganui Gorge.” The bridge will be built with additional main cables that allow cables to be replaced and maintained without needing major closures and provide additional safety to users. The decking will be a fibre-reinforced plastic allowing quick drainage and great grip for users. Safety and ease of construction and extensive modelling of wind and avalanche conditions have all been factored into the bridge design.

Once completed, the bridge will significantly improve access through this part of the mountain environment and make it easier and safer for people to make a short hike to the Manganui Lodge and ski area. The bridge will replace a short section of track which has required visitors to descend to the bottom of a gorge. The existing track through the gorge has been prone to washouts and closure due to avalanches.

As part of the tender process DOC will supply some of the materials to the successful contractor – the main cables and bridge decking product, to allow for the long lead times for these materials. Evaluation of tenders will focus on a range of aspects, including regional benefit, track record of construction projects, and methodology.

The site for the bridge is significant to Ngāti Ruanui, who have been in ongoing consultation with DOC on the design and location of the bridge.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui Kaiw’aka’aere Rachel Rae says all matters relating to Koro Taranaki are significant to the iwi.

“The architectural design and modern safety features will create a safe and sustainable access to the Manganui Ski Area.

“We are continuing to hold discussions to ensure a strong Ruanuitanga narrative and approach throughout the project and beyond,” she says.

The tender process is expected to be concluded in January.  


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