An aerial shot of a narrow, newly completed suspension bridge crossing over a tranquil river, surrounded by dense forest in a serene setting.

Waitakere Nile River Bridge: A Triumph of Engineering and Collaboration

The Waitakere Nile River Bridge is a remarkable and picturesque landmark that marks the beginning of the Charleston to Westport Kawatiri Trail. As the fifth trail on the West Coast, this iconic new cycle path features bridges built by Abseil Access, a company chosen for its expertise in designing and constructing bridges.

A Serene and Historic Location

The bridge spans a tidal lagoon where the river meets the wild West Coast surf, creating a breathtaking view. Martin Wilson, Managing Director of Abseil Access, fondly recalls meeting the trail committee at the bridge site: “I immediately knew that this would be an amazing structure, not only the serene surroundings but also building on the site of the historic bridge that was swept away in the 1940s.”

Overcoming Challenges

Abseil Access Bridge Construction on Nile River Bridge.

The Abseil Access design team faced several obstacles during the project, including preserving the original tower foundation pads, raising the bridge for better flood clearance, and ensuring the structure would last 50 years in a harsh coastal environment. Thanks to the exceptional work of the build team and the support of local contractors and enthusiastic residents, these challenges were successfully overcome.

National Bridge Awards Recognition

Four men standing together at the NZ Bridges Awards, the second from the left holding a 'Small-Medium Structure Award' certificate, with event sponsor logos in the background.

Submitting the Waitakere Nile River Bridge for the National Bridge Awards was easy. During the awards night, it was revealed that the bridge was up against two larger and seemingly more impressive structures. However, the judges recognised the outstanding success of the Abseil Access design team, who ensured the bridge blended well with the serene lagoon and overcame the engineering obstacles. The judges particularly acknowledged the exceptional value for money that Abseil Access provided for the complete design and build of the bridge.

Martin Wilson was joined on stage by Charles Loader (General Manager), Alex Wilmshurst (Project Manager), and Matt Thom (leader of the construction crew) to receive this prestigious award. This recognition is a testament to the dedication, skill, and collaboration of the entire team at Abseil Access and the supportive local community.

Find Out More About Our Award Winning Designs:

Nile bridge, Charleston Updated
Case Study Document
PDF 536.4 KB