Drivers are being advised by the NZ Transport Agency of possible delays on the Auckland Harbour Bridge during the holiday break when it closes two north bound lanes for annual maintenance work.
The northbound box girder (clip-ons) will be closed from Boxing Day (26 December) so that sections of its two lanes can be re-surfaced. At the same time, the Curran Street on-ramp, which feeds north-bound traffic onto the clip-on, and the Stafford Street off-ramp on the North Shore will be closed.
The NZTA’s acting State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Steve Mutton, says the six other traffic lanes on the harbour bridge will remain open during the maintenance work, three in each direction.
“We will do everything we can to keep traffic flowing smoothly, but drivers using the harbour bridge should leave extra time for their travel to avoid possible delays,” he says. “The start of the Christmas sales and the big build up of traffic as people leave the city for holiday destinations combine to make Boxing Day one of the busiest days of the year on the Auckland motorway network.”
Mr Mutton says the NZTA takes advantage of warm temperatures, long hours of daylight and a general slow-down in the city’s business activity at Christmas/New Year to re-surface the lanes.
“The bridge is Auckland’s most critical transport link and the re-surfacing work is part of the on-going maintenance work we undertake every day of the year to ensure it remains in a first class and safe condition for the tens of thousands of Aucklanders who rely on it every day,” Mr Mutton says.
With the associated closure of the Curran Street on-ramp, the NZTA is encouraging people in central Auckland to join the State Highway 1 motorway north at either Fanshawe Street or Wellington Street.
Resurfacing of the lanes will be completed by Sunday, 6 January.
Separate to the NZTA’s maintenance, the power company Transpower will start work to reinforce Auckland’s power supply which will cause longer term disruption for drivers and those using public transport near the city end of the harbour bridge.
Installation of a new underground cable to is due to start on Thursday, 27 December. The work is significant and will cause delays from the Fanshawe street off-ramp to Nelson Street in the city, and around Westhaven Drive, which runs under the harbour bridge and beside the Westhaven Marina.
“We ask that drivers avoid these areas if possible and use alternative motorway off ramps, otherwise please plan ahead to reach your destination on time,” says Transpower’s project director, Paul Duffy. “We apologise for any inconvenience while this essential infrastructure upgrade is underway.”
Transpower’s work will continue until the end of next March.
Both Transpower and the NZTA will work together to keep people informed of road conditions and alternative routes. Further Information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/ahb(external link) , www.transpower.co.nz(external link) For updates, follow us on facebook.com/nztaakl or www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link)