The NZ Transport Agency advises drivers in Auckland to plan ahead and check for the latest travel information online before travelling this weekend due to a re-scheduled closure of a section of the Southwestern Motorway (State Highway 20) at Onehunga.
The closure - to allow the main span of a pedestrian/cycle bridge to be lifted into place over the motorway as part of the restoration of the Onehunga foreshore - was postponed twice last month because of unfavourable winds.
“We regret any inconvenience to drivers over the past few weekends, but safety must be our priority when it comes to a complex operation like this,” says the Transport Agency’s Highway Manager, Brett Gliddon. “We accept that it has been a frustrating time, and we hope more settled weather this weekend will allow us to safely complete the lift as planned.”
The motorway closure starts from 8pm this Saturday (6 December) until 8am on Sunday (7 December).
Mr Gliddon says people travelling to and from Auckland International Airport will need to allow more time for their travel.
To minimise disruption for drivers, signed detours will be in place. Traffic will be diverted from 7pm on Saturday. Drivers are advised to check for the latest highway information on www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link) or freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS.
Mr Gliddon says if weather conditions are unsuitable, the lift will be postponed again.
“Weighing more than 100 tonnes, and 80 metres in length and six metres wide, the steel truss is a large structure and we have to be absolutely sure conditions are right to lift it.”
As part of the lifting operation, Orpheus Drive adjacent to the motorway will be closed for up to 24 hours from 6.30am this Saturday so the bridge span can be moved into position for the overnight lift.
For more information please contact:
Auckland/Northland Media Manager
NZ Transport Agency
T: 09 928 8720
M: 027 213 7616