$100m Taupo Bypass Opens


The transport minister opens the $100m Taupo Bypass tomorrow.

The 16k road will divert traffic away from the  Taupo lakefront between Five Mile Bay and Wairakei, meaning motorists can bypass the township - something local businesses will be nervous about.

The highway - official name ETA or East Taupo Arterial -  runs along the eastern outskirts of Taupo (from Wairakei to Taupo Airport) and includes an interesting 100 metre long, 400 tonne steel structure bridge over the Waikato River, designed by SKM and Holmes Group.

Taupo's Waikato bridge lifted into place |Taupo council

The objective is to reduce the number of heavy vehicles travelling through the Taupo CBD and along the lakefront and to reduce traffic congestion during holiday season and events.
The bypass was first suggested 40 years ago and has been completed under budget, 5 months ahead of schedule.

NZTA funded 76.5% of it, leaving the Taupo District Council to find $25.8 m, which it funded by the sale of land it owns and from development contributions.

Bypass Recent open day |Taupo council

During the contruction, moa bones were found.
Experts saythe bones were the remains of four, possibly five female moa who died at different times over a period of approximately 600 years. The site where the bones were found is likely to have been a “sinkhole” cavity formed by run-off during heavy rain.

64 individual recognisable bones and some smaller pieces were recovered.

ETA Project Manager Ron Boyle with the 64 moa bones |Taupo council




  1. Anthony M says:

    Wow! that sure is a nice looking bridge!!

  2. Suwooop says:

    At least Taupo has some decent taste in bridge design, but I still hate the fact we are always creating more and more roads :(

  3. karl says:

    Suwoop, while I agree with the sentiment, Taupo is relatively small, and has no real big commuter outskirts. So in terms of PT investment, its not as clear an alternative as in Auckland - this is about getting the cross-country traffic out of a beautiful lakeside town, which will now have an opportunity to improve itself.


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