Help us to restore
Historic Kopu Bridge
The very last swing bridge in NZ
they don't make 'em like that anymore...
Help us to restore the Historic Kopu Bridge - the last remaining operational swing span bridge in New Zealand and an important part of our industrial engineering heritage.
The one lane bridge crosses the Waihou River near Thames, Coromandel and is a Heritage New Zealand Category 1 Historic Place, the most important heritage ranking in New Zealand. It is also listed on the Engineering NZ (formally IPENZ) Engineering Heritage Register.
After the new two lane Kopu Bridge opening in December 2011, the old bridge was closed and under threat of destruction. Six years later, in March 2018, after a long fight against demolition, NZTA gave community ownership of the old Kopu Bridge to the Kopu Bridge and Community Trust. The Trust plans to restore the bridge as a pedestrian and cycleway adjacent to the Hauraki Rail Trail.
Restoring the bridge for public use will cost far less and bring recreational, tourism and economic benefits to Kopu, Thames and the greater Coromandel Peninsula. Just as it did when it was opened with great fanfare in 1928, opening up and revitalising The Thames after the gold rush and giving rise to the new gold - tourism and kiwi bach culture.
Avoiding demolition also saves tax payers money of more than $3.9 million dollars - the estimated cost to destroy this heritage asset.
We envisage the bridge will be restored in 2023 due to delays with Covid etc for the pats two years.
CAN YOU HELP?
The Trust needs your help please with donations, bequests, sponsorship, services, volunteering or joining the Historic Kopu Bridge Society as a member.
It's a big project (all 463 metres of her) - but with your help, we can get her back in the swing of things!
1930 - 2019
We are deeply saddened by the passing of our wonderful volunteer Ian Thomas aged 89.
Ian was a bridge pilot on the Kopu Bridge in the 1950s and kindly passed on his knowledge to us, training our team of volunteers how to open the bridge.