The 265m long Lower Hatea Crossing is part of a plan to reduce traffic congestion around the central Town Basin within the northern coastal city of Whangarei, New Zealand. The bridge provides a minimum headroom of 7.5m with a 25m wide opening section for taller vessels. The opening section relies on an unusual rolling action and the supports and counterweight have been designed to give a memorable architectural appearance that was inspired by traditional Maori fish hook design.
The client aspired for the bridge to be a public landmark that would be readily identified and reflect the art and culture of the Maori people who first settled in the area. The innovative design of the bridge and in particular the Bascule section has delivered that aspiration. The use of 3D CAD and parametric design has allowed the optimum solution to be chosen and deliver a lifting bridge that operates flawlessly.