A Tauranga volunteer firefighter says a blaze that caused millions of dollars of damage to a new bridge is being treated as suspicious.
The fire broke out about 8pm yesterday in Papamoa on a bridge which is part of the Tauranga Eastern Link on State Highway 2.
Police said the possible arson has caused considerable damage and could delay the road opening.
A volunteer firefighter who fought the blaze said there could be a serial arsonist at work as there had been several fires lit in the area recently.
Detective Sergeant Darryl Brazier said the bridge fire is senseless and intentional. He said it would cost a lot of money to repair and could significantly impact on the progress of the project.
The New Zealand Transport Agency said it was too early to say exactly how much damage there is or if it could set the project back.