Customer:  Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency 

Contract: Design & Construct

LocationCoromandel, North Island, New Zealand

Transport Solutions New Zealand & Pacific Islands

Fast Facts

  • National recovery project
  • 124m long, 15m high bridge
  • Tight 9 months delivery timeframe
  • 3-span composite design
  • Pre-cast concrete deck
  • Over 100 people working on and off site
  • In a remote location with difficult access
  • Tight delivery timeframe


McConnell Dowell with joint venture partner Fulton Hogan and designers Beca and Tonkin + Taylor was awarded the State Highway 25A Taparahi Slip Remediation by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. 

The scope of work involved stabilising the slip and constructing a 124m long by 15m high bridge across the major slip.

A project this scale would normally take 18 months to two years to deliver. However, due to the urgency of reconnecting the communities, the project team planned an accelerated programme of nine months. Incredibly our amazing team worked 117,086 hours and beat this very tight timeframe by three months finishing the rebuild in time for Christmas, under budget and with no LTI or MTIs.

The challenge 

The team had multiple challenges to manage during the construction of the bridge. It was a high-profile project with interest from a broad range of stakeholders - including residents, businesses, truckers, tourists, and bach owners, - all eagerly awaiting the reopening of the road. Some of the delivery issues identified were: 

  • Extremely tight timeframe for delivery,
  • Variable geotechnical conditions, 
  • Winter weather conditions - July is the wettest month of this period with an average of 94mm of rainfall, 
  • No site access, a track to the site needed to be cleared before work could start,
  • The remote location doesn’t have services such as water or power.

The solution 

Our accelerated approach to delivering the design and construction of SH25A was the key to delivering the bridge and restoring access within a short timeframe. 

Our team constructed a three-span composite bridge with pre-cast concrete bridge deck sections, a concrete sub-structure, and a steel superstructure. We selected this design as it utilises readily available materials, is simple and quick to build, and has a proven track record throughout Waka Kotahi’s network. 

The Key to Success 

Our team has a proven track record of delivering time-critical projects including America’s Cup Project (AC36), Auckland’s Downtown Infrastructure Development Programme (DIDP), and upgrading SH6 and SH20B. 

A work culture that prioritises collaboration, and builds a “one-team” mentality to generate ideas that boost productivity. It helped us to fast-track the delivery of SH25A. Building a united, high-performing team required a thoughtful approach. We fostered a collective sense of ownership, and empowered team members to be creative, so people challenge the status quo. Holding daily check-ins where ideas and issues were discussed, we facilitated open communication and inspired teamwork. Forming a relaxed social environment for off-shift staff provided a comfortable space for camaraderie, and connection and helped improve well-being.  


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