Lower Hatea Crossing,
New Zealand

The challenge was to highlight the “J” shaped fish hook primary structure to create a night-time iconic image for the new crossing, while providing the necessary highway authority requirements for the various bridge users and considering the local dark sky environment as a natural resource.
Whangarei District Council
2013, 2021
Knight Architects
Civil Engineer
Peters & Cheung
Engineering Design Consultant
Eadon Consulting
Consulting Engineer
Northern Civil
MacDow / Transfield JV
Patrick Reynolds
Project Team
Keith Bradshaw, Carrie Donahue Bremner, Adrien Flouraud

Officially opened on Saturday 27 July 2013 as the Te Matau Pohe, the Lower Hatea River Crossing is Whangarei\'s second harbour bridge. With associated walkways and cycleways, it completes a circuit from the Town Basin, along Riverside Drive, over to Port Road and back again. 

A competitive tender won with Knight Architects in 2011, the 265m tidal river estuary crossing is a key component in the developing local road network, designed to reduce congestion in the city centre and improve access to Whangarei Heads and the airport.

The lighting has been planned to ensure the primary structure is lit both in the closed and open positions and considers the moving transition in between."  ”

A tilting bascule structure, the “J” fish hook pivots to open the bridge for passing vessels. All luminaires are located at low level to reduce any vertical visual impact on the bridge design.

Practically, each luminaire was chosen with consideration given to spill light, glare and maintenance. Where possible, luminaire positions and light were used for dual purpose. The highway lighting is provided from low level linear LEDs at the crash barrier, the pedestrian deck lighting from lighting built into the base of the balustrade structure, and the structural “J” lighting from both the base of the balustrades as well as LED projectors. Careful directionality and focusing were part of the design to ensure light was placed where required and any light pollution avoided.

Speirs Major were fully involved in the concept and design development of the Lower Hatea River Crossing and were consulted on the implementation during the construction phases of work.