The bridge is being built east of Stratford as part of a package of improvements designed to boost local tourism and economic activity in the area and help create new jobs.

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

The bridge is part of a US$19 million investment by the government towards improvements for the Forgotten World Highway.

The existing one-lane bridge, which was built in 1908, will also be repurposed as a walking and cycling route.

The new bridge is expected to be complete by early 2024.