Wed, Nov 10, 2021 5:00 PM

$1.9M to bridge Richmond West

Camo McBride (left), on the bridge he put together, with Craig Thelin (right), who designed it. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Sara Hollyman

One hundred trucks, 1500 tonnes of concrete, 55 bridge beams, $1.9 million, and nine-month's work by two men have seen a brand-new bridge open in Richmond.

The Meadows Crossing which connects two halves of the rapidly growing Richmond West development was officially opened on Saturday.

The 70-metre-long bridge links both sides of Berryfield Drive across Borck Creek, providing an alternative access to the development.

Project manager Jo Taylor says the bridge will be widely-used as it enables better access for many of Richmond West’s residents.

“It’s going to be huge for all the residents, particularly when the Sprig and Fern opens and the other commercial tenants. It’s going to open up access in the Appleby Fields side so it will be hugely used.”

The bridge was budgeted at a cost of $1.9 million and Jo says it’s looking as though it will come in slightly under budget, pending final invoices.

Camo McBride along with Stuart Robertson were the two men who did most of the on-site work between February and October to get the bridge completed.

The Meadows Crossing opened on Saturday. Photo: Supplied.
The Meadows Crossing opened on Saturday. Photo: Supplied.

Camo, a Thelin Construction employee, says he has worked on more than 100 bridges across the district during his 28-year stint with the company.

He says a lot of the concrete was prefabricated at their Richmond yard and stresses it wasn’t just the two of them that pulled the bridge together.

Peter Field, who used to own the land the Richmond West development is being built on, also attended the opening ceremony on Saturday.

Peter’s father purchased 100 acres of land in 1942 which slowly increased to 450 acres. The family gave up farming in 2012.

He now lives on an acre on Lower Queen St but says he will eventually look to downsize once more.

Peter says they “could’ve done with a bridge” many times over the years, farming on the property.

“I remember quite a few times when that area flooded, and the cows were stuck on the other side.”

The original plan for the development was to construct a splash or ford type roadway through Borck Creek that water would run across during times of heavy rain.

However, the private company which owns ‘The Meadows’ development worked together with the Tasman District Council to find a way of getting a bridge built instead.

Developer Andrew Spittal said Richmond West was always going to be an inclusive development with residents from all walks of life.

“It was a big vision that we would have people walking and cycling and it was clear that a splash wasn’t going to work.”

Tasman Mayor Tim King thanked Richmond West Developments for a successful collaboration.

“I don’t think anyone anticipated how quickly Richmond West was going to develop. It’s a fantastic residential development done to a really high standard.”

Richmond West will eventually see more than 1000 homes built.