The Perry Bridge is the final link in the chain of the 70km Te Awa River Ride Walk and Cycleway. A visually stunning, innovative network arch, the bridge is very long and slender, spanning 130m at just 3m in width. The bridge was installed using a unique cable launch method. The efficiency of this form of structure kept its costs within a practical budget, while also presenting the local district council and Te Awa the opportunity to create a visually compelling focal point to help attract people to the Cycleway.
The Perry Bridge is a very important part of the new footpath and cycleway, which runs 70km from Ngaruawahia to Karapiro. The bridge, which spans 130m over the River Waikato, was a crucial element in attracting public interest and support for the path. This beautiful arched bridge has captured the public imagination and its image, and the elegance of the design has helped significantly in the fundraising for the project. The slim tubular arches are connected by steel channels to form an in-plane vierendeel truss providing lateral bracing to the tubes and the network of hangers connects the arch to the bridge deck, which is of precast panels post-tensioned together with in-situ concrete. The way that the bridge was launched is thought to be unique. The bridge steelwork was constructed on the bank, cables were tensioned across the gap and the leading edge of the bridge was drawn across, sliding on skids on the cables. This most ingenious method only took two hours and a tracked excavator to get the bridge in place.