Work started on a key suspension bridge on New Zealand’s Taranaki Crossing trail.

The Department of Conservation staff joined people from Ngati Ruanui, the regional Maori iwi, in a ceremony to mark the start of construction.

A visualisation of the bridge over Mangaunui Gorge. 

The 109m Manganui Bridge will replace a track down to Manganui Gorge, which is prone to washouts and avalanches. It will connect the plateau carpark with a ski field. It has been designed to withstand 210km winds, with a lifespan of 100 years.

The contract was won by Abseil Access back in January (link opens in new tab). The design includes extra cables that will allow for maintenance work without closing the bridge. The decking is fibre-reinforced plastic. The components are fabricated off-site, some of them locally in Taranaki.

The bridge is being funded by the New Zealand government as part of the Taranaki Crossing project, which is a partnership between Nga Iwi o Taranaki, the New Zealand Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.