The NZ Transport Agency says it will resume work this Sunday night to complete Auckland's Jacobs ladder footbridge and hopes to have the new walkway over the State Highway 1 motorway at St Marys Bay completed before Christmas.
“The resumption of construction of this new link between the city and the waterfront is fantastic news and we will be doing our very best to have the footbridge open as quickly as possible,” says the NZTA’s acting State Highways manager for Auckland and Northland, Steve Mutton.
The $7.9m Jacobs Ladder Footbridge is part of the Victoria Park Tunnel project and it will link St Marys Bay with the Westhaven marina. Construction was stopped last January after small cracks known as crazing were found in 10 of the 306 acrylic panels that are being used to clad the footbridge.
Mr Mutton says there have been exhaustive tests conducted overseas during the year to discover the cause of the crazing. The results of a final series of test are expected from Australia this week.
Mr Mutton says test results to date have not been able to prove the cause of the crazing.
“We do know that the crazing is confined only to the surface of a small number of the panels, the cracks have not deteriorated in the past eight months, and tests show that the panels have retained their strength.
“Both the NZTA and the Victoria Park Tunnel Alliance – which is constructing the footbridge – are confident the evaluations we have had so far will allow us to start preparing the worksite this week before resuming construction,” Mr Mutton says.
Mr Mutton says work will start on Sunday night to prepare the worksite – which has been unused for several months – and plan the resumption of installing the panels and completing the remaining footbridge works.
After the planned opening of the upgraded Wellington Street on-ramp this Monday (8 October), the Jacobs Ladder Footbridge will complete the Victoria Park Tunnel protect - one of the Government’s roads of national significance. Mr Mutton says it should take about two months to finish the footbridge.
“We thank the community for their support and understanding during the past few months, and our priority now is to get the footbridge open so that people have further access to Auckland’s waterfront,” says Mr Mutton.