Source: New Zealand Transport Agency
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says the Auckland Harbour Bridge has been restored to 100% capacity this evening with all eight lanes now open again.
The moveable lane barrier will also be back in operation overnight so the lane configuration will be changed to allow five southbound lanes to be open in time for the morning travel peak.
“We know the last two and a half weeks have been frustrating for bridge users, especially at peak times and we are as pleased as everyone else that we have been able to repair the damage and get it operating at full capacity much sooner than we had initially thought,” says Waka Kotahi General Manager Transport Services, Brett Gliddon.
The bridge has been operating with a reduced capacity since 18 September when a 127kph wind gust blew over a truck, damaging a load-bearing bridge strut.
A permanent replacement for the strut was successfully installed and tensioned to take its full weight bearing capacity again on Saturday night.
“We have been monitoring the new strut and its load-bearing function within the bridge superstructure over the last couple of days to see how the entire bridge has been performing with the new piece in place.”
“The new strut is performing well and there has been no other damage to other parts of the bridge. That means the bridge can now function with all eight lanes.”
“We are grateful for the understanding and support we’ve had while we have worked as quickly as possible to safely repair the bridge and re-open all lanes.”
“It’s also been fantastic to see the way people have changed their travel patterns while the bridge capacity was reduced. There has been a big increase in the number of people using public transport, especially ferry services. There was also a reduction of about 30% in the number of vehicles crossing the bridge on weekdays during the morning peak.”
“It’s been an incredibly complex process with absolutely no room for mistakes. Our bridge engineers, contractors and operations teams have worked extraordinarily hard to come up with a solution, while also doing everything possible to keep traffic moving safely around the city.”
“The Auckland Harbour Bridge has been a vital part of Auckland’s transport system for more than sixty years and we are pleased we have been able to retain its long term structural integrity to ensure it continues to perform as part of the city’s overall transport system.”
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