Construction of the Old Māngere Bridge Replacement project, a significant community connection between Māngere Bridge and Onehunga, has begun and demolition of the old bridge structure will start next week.
The new walking and cycling bridge being built by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is the result of several years of work with mana whenua, the community, local boards and other stakeholders to create an architecturally designed structure that will serve as a community meeting place for years to come.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray says the demolition will start with efforts to salvage some parts of the old bridge.
“As part of the demolition, we’ll look to remove some of the plinths that supported the bridge’s old hand rails, and also take out one of the beams in the bridge structure. The plan is to incorporate them into the landscaping around the new bridge as a link to the past and will be a reminder of local heritage to the community and bridge users.
“As well as using pieces of the old bridge in the new design, members of the community have had lots of great ideas about how they can use salvaged pieces of the bridge in community artwork and we are keen to help make that happen.”
The Old Māngere Bridge, which is more than a hundred years old, was closed for public safety reasons in November 2018.
To demolish the main sections of the bridge over water, the team will use a 20 tonne excavator with crusher jaws that will sit on a barge. Large skip bins on the barge will catch material as it is broken up.
“We’ll be taking a cautious approach to stop demolition waste falling into the harbour. The experienced team will ensure appropriate safety and environmental protection controls and monitoring will be in to prevent debris falling into the water below.”
Demolition is expected to take approximately five months.
Meanwhile, construction work on the new structure is also underway, with a temporary platform being built alongside where the new bridge structure will take shape. Piling work that will eventually secure the above ground piers of the replacement bridge into the seabed has started from the temporary platform on the northern side.
“Working on demolition and construction at the same time and from both sides of the harbour will help to deliver the new bridge on time”.
“We are delighted to see construction of this important community project get started. The new bridge will not only reconnect the Māngere Bridge and Onehunga communities for people travelling on foot and by bike but also provide an important link to the broader walking and cycling network.”
“The architecturally designed bridge will have plenty of space for walking, running, cycling and fishing. The deck will be 8-metres wide with two fishing bays extending that to 12-metres and bench seating for people to sit and enjoy the harbour views. The new bridge will also provide increased clearance underneath and space between the piers for waka, canoes and small watercrafts to travel into the Māngere Inlet.”
Anyone interested in the project to replace the bridge is invited to meet the bridge team at the Onehunga Festival on 22 February. Come along to the Onehunga Bay Reserve between 10.30am and 3pm to learn more about the design of the replacement bridge and the construction programme.
For more on the Old Māngere Bridge replacement project, go to https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/old-mangere-bridge-replacement-project/(external link)
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