The NZ Transport Agency is making good progress towards building a new bridge between Onehunga and Mangere to replace the Old Mangere Bridge which closed for safety reasons late last year.
A contract for the construction is expected to be awarded in the next few months.
Work will begin around the middle of the year and the bridge is expected to take about two and a half years to build. That includes demolition of the old bridge which can’t safely be left in the harbour. To ensure the heritage of the old bridge isn’t lost, the Transport Agency has a salvage plan which means parts of the old bridge will be incorporated in the new bridge design.
NZ Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships for the Upper North Island, Steve Mutton says that there is already a lot of excitement about the new bridge.
“Between 2012 and 2015, the Transport Agency did a lot of work with local people and groups to find out what they loved about the old bridge and how we could best replace it with a new facility.
“We are encouraging people to visit our website nzta.govt.nz/omb to see what feedback we received at that time and that we’ve included in the new bridge design.”
“Consent for the bridge was granted in 2016 and so we know it’s important that we re-connect with the community about what we are building, and we will be doing this over the coming months.”
Since the Transport Agency closed the old bridge for safety reasons in November due to its continued deterioration, people walking and cycling have been using the pathway under the SH20 motorway bridge to cross the harbour. Significant improvements were made to make the path safer and feel more pleasant for people to use. A new, higher handrail was installed, lighting improved, and the path was repainted and has new signage. There are four security guards on the route 24/7 and CCTV will be installed shortly.
“We have had a great response from people using the new route. A survey in December showed that 91 percent of people were either very happy or happy with the safety on the route following the improvements. We are continuing to follow up suggestions that people give us about what else we could do; such as trimming the bushes on the south side which is happening soon.”
“We’ve been collecting data which shows around the same number of people on foot and bikes are using the new route as used the Old Māngere Bridge, so it’s great news that people are still using this route.”
More information about the construction programme will be available over the coming months. For more information visit the project website nzta.govt.nz/omb
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