Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass
Protecting the environment while creating a more resilient and safer connection.
State Highway 3 from Uruti to Ahititi, near New Plymouth, is steep, narrow and dangerously windy. The Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass has been designed to bypass one of the most challenging lengths of this highway.
Our work as a part of this alliance is no easy task: removing 1 million cubic metres of earth, including numerous large rock cuts and shaping of embankments, constructing a 235-metre tunnel, building two bridges, and doing it all in a highly remote, mountainous area covered in native bush. Te Ara o Te Ata isn’t just a highway, but an enormously challenging environmental project requiring careful ecological sensitivity that just so happens to have a road running through it.
In response to the tricky terrain, the innovative use of a New Zealand first has been developed: a 1.1 km cableway. This will provide access into the remote gullies for both people and equipment, allowing materials to be delivered to the workface from the existing state highway.
Installing the 1.1 km Mount Messenger Cableway, anchored 20 metres into the hillside.
Removal of 1 million cubic metres of earth, including numerous large rock cuts.
Construction of two bridges, 125 metres and 30 metres long.
Construction of the 235-metre tunnel with a road header.
Related drainage works, including 18 cross culverts.
Working alongside ecology teams to protect native wildlife, including rare kiwis, bats and reptiles, and replace vegetation cleared during construction.
Waka Kotahi NZTA