Buller District Council

Westport Waterfront update: The Riverbank project featuring the Toki Poutangata Bridge

18th May, 2021

Westport Waterfront’s Riverbank project has made significant progress since it was announced at the end of 2020 and physical works are due to commence this month. The ground turning ceremony is scheduled to take place on Thursday 20 May 2021 followed by a public meeting where a detailed update on the project’s progress will be provided.

The $2M project, funded from the Provincial Growth Fund, is revitalising 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, the locally fabricated 40 metre long, 2.5 metre wide steel truss bridge over the existing railway line. The bridge allows people to easily transition from the main street to the new riverbank park space in a safe way. This is the first significant step in Westport turning to face the river, the town’s greatest natural asset.

Group manager infrastructure services Mike Duff says: “It’s exciting to see such great progress, and I’d like to acknowledge the support we’ve had from all of our partners, stakeholders and contractors as well as the general public. KiwiRail in particular has been instrumental in enabling us to stay on track, with their design approval and site access allowing physical works to commence on schedule.”

“The whole team has worked hard to produce a design befitting such an iconic project. We are delighted to have secured the services of a local fabrication and civil construction specialists to turn that design into reality, which will deliver a new landmark destination for our district. The ground turning ceremony is a key milestone on the project’s journey and it’s something we have all been looking forward to.”

Following the ground turning ceremony there will be a public meeting in the Westport Clocktower chambers at 5pm where the latest project information will be shared. Everyone is invited to attend. There will also be the opportunity to ask the project team any questions you have and review the detailed designs.

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 been agreed with 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 the Kawatiri Coastal Trail and complement the Pounamu Pathway, enabling the community and visitors to enjoy active transport and recreation opportunities along the banks of the Buller River. Road layout changes will take place on 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.

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


For more information please contact

Group Manager Infrastructure Services

Mike Duff



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