A bridge across the Waihou River near Thames was mooted long before it was built. Planning for the bridge commenced in 1922, after some years spent deciding on the best location, whether at Hikutaia, Puriri or Kirikiri/Kopu. The Ohinemuri Gazette described this period of deliberation as The Battle of the Bridges. Eventually a location was agreed and the project was jointly funded by Hauraki Plains County, Thames County, Thames Borough Council and central government. Prime Minster Gordon Coates opened the bridge on 11 May 1928. The bridge was manned so that the swing span could be moved to allow for river craft. The bridge master retired in 1964 and was not replaced as river traffic had declined by this time. The sod-turning ceremony for a new Kopu Bridge was held on 29 July 2009 and the new bridge was completed in 2012.