Buller District Council

Media Release – Westport Waterfront – The Riverbank project (featuring the “Toki Poutangata” bridge)

23rd October, 2020

Westport Waterfront’s The Riverbank project has progressed through the initial site investigation and scoping stages and a preliminary design has been developed. The design was presented along with a project update at a public meeting held in Westport’s Clocktower Chambers on 22 October 2020.

The $2M project funded from the Provincial Growth Fund is the revitalisation of the current industrial area between the Buller River and the town centre. It forms part of the Westport master plan and features the “Toki Poutangata” bridge over the existing railway line. The bridge allows people to easily transition from the main street to a new riverbank park space in a safe way. This is the first significant step in Westport turning to face the river, our town’s greatest natural asset.

Group Manager Infrastructure Services, Mike Duff says, “We are at an exciting stage for this project where a lot of the initial preparation work has been completed and we’re able to share the preliminary designs for the bridge structure, earthworks and surrounding area.”

“Feedback from the project’s stakeholders has been very positive and I’d like to acknowledge the time and energy that they have all contributed, it’s helped us define a clear vision and build momentum. The design team has worked hard to turn our brief and feedback into a preliminary design that is fitting for such a significant project.”

The name chosen for the bridge “Toki Poutangata” (or Toki for short), describes a ceremonial adze of chiefly authority, and consists of a pounamu blade lashed to an elaborately carved handle. This styling has been carried through into the truss design of the bridge structure, with its distinctive tapered shape and green colour, drawing focus to the Buller river. The concept has support from local iwi Ngāti Waewae. It represents strength, mana, bravery and triumph, all traits and characteristics synonymous with the Buller district.

Once complete, The Riverbank project will link Westport’s town centre to a new park space, the Kawatiri Coastal Trail and complement the Pounamu Pathway, enabling our community and visitors to enjoy active transport and recreation opportunities along the banks of the Buller River. Road layout changes are also being proposed for Brougham Street between the Palmerston Street and Adderley Street intersections to help ensure the safety of bridge users and improve the flow of traffic through this area.

The preliminary design is currently going through the consenting process. Next steps will be bridge procurement followed by on-site construction expected to begin early next year. The project will be completed within the next 12 months.

For more information on The Riverbank project go to https://bullerdc.govt.nz/westport-riverfront-project/


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