New structure to be built next to Auckland Harbour Bridge

By Te Ao - Māori News

A separate slim bridge for walking and cycling alongside the Auckland Harbour Bridge is to built as part of the government's investment in the New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced today.

A walking and cycling structure next to the harbour bridge is planned after it was found adding a SkyPath to the existing bridge would have made the structure unstable.

The new structure, called the Northern Link, is one of 16 projects that have been given the go ahead for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport to start building.

Some 13 of the NZUP projects underway include Otaki to North of Levin, the Northern Pathway, Penlink, Papakura to Drury South stage one, SH1/29 in the Waikato, Takitimu North Link stage one, SH58, Melling, and the Canterbury and Queenstown transport packages.

Further investment

A further $1.9 billion will be added to the original $6.8 billion for the NZUP projects, so the government can keep delivering infrastructure projects and creating jobs across the country to support Covid-19 recovery efforts.

Infrastructure and Finance Minister Grant Robertson says over two-thirds of the projects will proceed as announced despite increased costs due to Covid-19, and modifications will be made to others.

“NZUP is already supporting over 1,000 jobs with 13 projects underway, helping to secure our economic recovery,” Robertson says.

“Covid-19 has increased construction costs around the world, and we’ve done the work upfront to understand the impact on NZUP projects that were announced pre-pandemic.

Pleased for Aucklanders

Auckland mayor Phil Goff says he’s pleased the changes in the New Zealand Upgrade Programme have sustained infrastructure investment in Auckland despite cost pressures faced by the government.

“Despite engineering challenges preventing the original plans for a SkyPath on the Auckland Harbour Bridge for walking and cycling, that connection will still go ahead as a standalone bridge," Goff says.

"This is significantly more costly but it is a sustainable and enduring solution that will benefit the city for generations."