Morning commuters on the Southern Motorway will have noticed the first section of a new pedestrian bridge has been lifted into place at Pescara Point near Papakura.
It’s the first of four bridge sections to be installed in coming weeks as part of the Southern Corridor Improvements project.
“The overnight installation went very smoothly and was not disrupted by the heavy rain,” says the NZ Transport Agency’s Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray.
The next section is already on site and will be lifted into place next week, weather permitting. The work will be undertaken at night, with the Southern Motorway (SH1) closed from 10pm until 5am between Papakura and Takanini Interchanges.
Night-time drivers are advised to plan ahead, follow the detours and look out for closure reminders on overhead and electronic signs.
Mr Thackwray says motorists will have to take care to not be distracted by the bridge taking shape and the extra activity around the work site.
“We advise drivers to keep their eyes on the road and watch their following distances when they’re approaching Pescara Point, especially during the morning and afternoon peak travel times.”
The bridge is being installed in four sections but the finished bridge will have three spans, supported by two piers. The central and longest span will be lifted into place in two parts, each 22.5m long, and will be supported by a temporary pier in the centre of the motorway while the two sections are welded together, creating a single span 45m long.
The finished bridge will be 106.5 m long and 3.1m wide. It will have at least 6.2m clearance above the motorway traffic lanes.
It will link via a loop ramp into a new 4.5km shared use path for pedestrians and cyclists being formed on the western side of the motorway between the Papakura and Takanini interchanges. On both sides of the motorway, the bridge will connect to existing coastal paths beside the Manukau Harbour and Pahurehure Inlet, and also to local roadside footpaths.
After the bridge spans have been installed, the bridge will remain closed while finishing work is completed.
The Southern Corridor Improvements project covers the stretch of State Highway 1 from the SH20 / SH1 connection at Manukau down to the Papakura interchange in the south. The project includes additional lanes in both directions and an upgraded Takanini Interchange as well as the shared use path and this prominent bridge at Pescara Point.
The project remains on track to open all additional motorway lanes by late-2019. Works on Great South Road at the Takanini Interchange and on the shared use path will continue into early 2020.
For more information visit: www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/southern-corridor-improvements(external link) or call the project freephone number of 0508 NZTA SCI (0508 6982 724)
Caption: The bridge lift is under way. The first section is hoisted into position on the Southern Motorway at Pescara Point, near Papakura.
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