One feature of this project I was not aware of but which has occurred is the demolition of the Kahika highway overbridge, which is at the south end of the old route. A deviation road and level crossing were constructed to allow for the demolition, which was completed about October 2010. You can see the site of the old bridge and demolition rubble near the end of this clip, with the level crossing reached right at the end of it.
If you refer to the previous articles, the maps have been updated with this information.
I presume NZTA has elected to demolish this bridge because they did not wish to be responsible for further upkeep of it. When the Awatere road-rail bridge was bypassed with a new road bridge several years back the road function of the old bridge was removed almost immediately. Of course, this raises the question of whether the rest of the old road is going to be dug up etc as well. As the route includes a concrete bridge over the Matahorua Stream I wonder if that will be knocked down as well.
Obviously the demolition of an old bridge at the conclusion of such a project is nothing new, however the demolition of a (presumably) reasonably modern bridge which isn’t falling down and isn’t in the way of the new road is something else. Unless it turns out that the Kahika overbridge was old, run down and on its last legs.