Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is closely monitoring conditions on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and is advising motorists to be prepared for potential disruptions in the event that lanes on the bridge are closed.
“We’re keeping a very close eye on the changing weather conditions with Metservice, and we’ll provide regular updates on social media and our Journey Planner,” says Waka Kotahi Auckland System Manager Andrea Williamson.
Ms Williamson says with high winds affecting the region this afternoon, lanes on the bridge may have to be closed.
Heavy rain and strong north-easterly winds are currently being experienced in Auckland and Metservice is forecasting strong wind gusts up to 110km/h in the bridge area between 2pm to 4pm, before easing back to 80-90km/h, until approximately 8pm when wind levels will ease.
“Congestion is already heavy and delays are likely on Auckland roads. Motorists should plan ahead, check their route using the Journey Planner before traveling, and consider using the Western Ring Route via SH16 and SH18 as an alternative to SH1 and the bridge.
“If crossing the bridge, drive to the conditions, keep within your lane and obey the reduced speed limits.”
Drivers of high sided vehicles and motorcyclists are encouraged to avoid the bridge and use the Western Ring Route on State Highways 16 and 18 as an alternative route.
Auckland Transport advises that public transport services could see delays and reduced capacity due to reduced lanes and speed restrictions, and urges people to allow for extra time and use AT’s journey planner to plan ahead or find alternative routes if needed.
Ms Williamson says Waka Kotahi understands that closing lanes on the bridge will cause disruption and inconvenience, and if closures or lane restrictions are necessary they will be lifted as soon as it is safe to do so.
“Safety is our priority, and while we don’t make these decisions lightly, we will not hesitate to close the bridge if that becomes necessary.”
Gale force winds on 18 September blew a truck into a strut on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, causing damage and the closure of traffic lanes. That included the bridge’s closure to all traffic for a short time on 29 September because of strong wind gusts.
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