Civil and Structural
 Consulting Engineers

The Arahura Bridge

  • Rail
  • Rail
  • Rail
  • Rail
  • Rail
  • Rail
  • Rail
  • Rail
  • Rail
Rail1 Rail2 Rail3 Rail4 Rail5 Rail6 Rail7 Rail8 Rail9

Key Project Details




Project Value

$29 million
The project was jointly funded by KiwiRail and the New Zealand Transport Agency. 


Design work was completed during 2006-2007. Competitive tendering for physical works closed in Jan 2008 and work was completed in late 2009.


The complexity of this project was heightened due to the technicalities associated with constructing a new structure around a fully operational bridge, site constraints and a large West Coast river with significant water flows during high rainfall events.


CORE 2010
The Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA) awarded the Arahura Bridge Project the supreme Biennial Industry Award to the project team at the CORE 2010 conference held in Wellington in September 2010.
The Arahura Bridge project involved the replacement of a 120-year old structure to ensure the preservation of an important transport link for the West Coast.

The historic timber truss combined road/rail bridge was replaced with an improved modern concrete and steel structure which provides separate corridors for a single railway track, two road lanes and a pedestrian cycle way.

The new structure was built in stages around the original bridge. Piles, caps, pedestals and road supporting spans were constructed alongside and underneath the old bridge, during which time road and railway traffic continued to run.

The new 216m long bridge was completed in late 2009 and consists of nine 24m spans. Steel through plate girders were used for the construction of the rail corridor, while shallow pre-tensioned concrete hollow core beams were used for other traffic.

Novare Design was engaged by KiwiRail to carry out:
  • Detailed design of the bridge and rail works
  • Tender
  • Project management
  • Contract management and administration
  • Limited site supervision on their behalf
The large number of stakeholders involved in the project also required a collaborative mindset that would ensure the requirements of all parties involved were recognised. Novare Design participated in a “partnering” approach that incorporated the interests of NZTA, KiwiRail, local Iwi, Westland District Council and the West Coast Regional Council. Together we were able to formulate a strategy that worked for everyone and resulted in the successful completion of the project in 2009.

About Novare Design

Novare Design is a New Zealand based company of civil and structural engineers providing superior service nationally and throughout Asia and the Pacific. We pair innovation with experience to provide a professional yet personalised service for our clients needs. Our expertise includes the buildings, bridges, civil and infrastructure sectors. Novare Design has gained an enviable reputation for delivering solutions that exceed our client's expectations.

ACENZ - Silver Award for Excellence

Contact Us 
Ph +64 4 939 9295

We provide local and international civil and structural design consultancy services to our clients, specialising in buildings, bridges, civil and infrastructure projects. 

Give us a call to see if we can help you realise your ideas and get your project moving.