The NZ Transport Agency has taken another significant step to replace Auckland’s iconic Old Mangere Bridge by appointing a team of consultants to design a new people-friendly crossing for the Manukau Harbour.
The $1m detailed design contract has been awarded to engineering consultants, Aurecon, and architects Pete Bossley (Pete Bossley Architects Ltd) and Sean Burke (Isthmus).
The Transport Agency’s Highways Manager for Auckland, Tommy Parker, says the design of the new bridge will include ideas made during successful community consultations held last year.
“For the people of Onehunga and Mangere Bridge the old bridge is an important part of their communities – a place where people and families meet as well as one of the city’s most popular fishing locations – and it is critical we maintain that vibrant community connection,” Mr Parker says.
The most significant impact from the community feedback is extending the original proposed width of the new bridge from six metres to between eight and 10 metres. Some sections or bays may even be 12 metres to allow people to enjoy fishing while others can walk and cycle safely as they do now.
Other ideas requested by the community that are incorporated in the replacement bridge’s design include:-
“To ensure the area’s history and iwi connections are meaningfully incorporated in the design of the new bridge, a panel including local iwi and the Historic Places Trust will now put together a brief for an artist, who will work closely with the Transport Agency and our design consultants before designs for the new bridge are put to paper,” says Mr Parker.
As part of the process, the community will get another chance in early 2014 to provide its feedback on the proposed designs for the new bridge.
Subject to funding, Mr Parker says the Transport Agency plans to start construction in 2014/15. It is expected that the bridge will be completed in 2016, around 100 years after the existing bridge opened.
The Old Mangere Bridge opened to traffic 98 years ago, in 1915. When the Southwestern Motorway (State Highway 20) crossed the Manukau Harbour in 1983, access was restricted to walkers and cyclists.
“The old bridge has been an important part of Auckland’s transport connections but it’s now nearing the end of its useful life and has to be replaced by an alternative that is both a higher quality and safer link for the many thousands of people who benefit from it.” Mr Parker says.
More information about the project is available on the NZ Transport Agency’s website at www.nzta.govt.nz/oldmangerebridge(external link)