A national park in New Zealand celebrated the completion of a 100m suspension bridge across a gorge.

The new suspension bridge that rises 49.5m over the Manganui Gorge is one of the most striking features of the Taranaki Crossing project in the national park Te Papkura oTaranaki.

The Manganui Gorge bridge in its harsh sub-alpine environment. Credit: Dan Crocker/DC Structures Studio

The bridge has been built to withstand winds of up to 210km/h in the sub-alpine environment. During the design phase, a cross section was modelled in a computerised wind tunnel to determine aerodynamic effects. This allowed the designers to achieve a stiff deck, which will not bounce when people walk across it.

Hikers enjoy the view from the new bridge. Credit: Dan Crocker/DC Structures Studio

The crossing is also built to withstand a once in 250-year avalanche. It is decorated with regionally created artwork depicting avalanches.

The bridge is 49.5m above the floor of the gorge. Credit: Dan Crocker/DC Structures Studio

The project cost US$733,000 and it was a partnership between the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Nga Iwi o Taranaki and the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC). The lead contractor was Abseil Access (link opens in new tab). DC Structures Studio did all architectural and bridge engineering design. Riley Consultants did all the geotechnical engineering. Both companies are NZ-based designers.