Plans are afoot to replace the Wynyard Crossing pedestrian bridge that links Auckland’s city centre to the waterfront with a new, more reliable bridge.
The existing Wynyard Crossing, which has become a critical transport connection, was installed as a temporary structure for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. It is reaching the end of its useful life and needs frequent and costly repairs to keep it running smoothly.
Auckland mayor Phil Goff says the new proposed bridge reflects the council’s commitment to enhancing and transforming the waterfront.
“The new bridge will operate more efficiently and cater for the greater number of people who live, work and pass through Wynyard Quarter, as well as the surge of visitors expected to be spending time on the waterfront for the America’s Cup,” Mr Goff says.
“Hosting AC36 will help to accelerate more projects like this. It will leave an infrastructure legacy for Auckland that will benefit our city well after the yachts have stopped racing.”
Panuku director development Allan Young says the replacement opening bridge will be visually spectacular and larger than the current bridge.
“The ‘double leaf’ design is a beautiful structure reminiscent of modern yacht masts or the wings of a large seabird,” Mr Young says.
“It will be a landmark addition to an already thriving neighbourhood, and will be something all Aucklanders can be proud of.”
The final design of the bridge, which is under consideration, will aim to meet three key criteria:
• To be of the highest design quality, and be capable of becoming an outstanding example of its type;
• To make a positive and memorable contribution to the urban waterfront setting; and
• To recognise and celebrate the bridge’s role as a distinctive element in the east-west waterfront route.
The proposed “double leaf” bascule bridge is expected to be 60% lighter to lift than a single arm design, using far less energy to operate.
Maintenance can be carried out on each arm separately, adding to the efficiency of the structure. It can also be built using smaller, less intrusive cranes.
Providing resource consent is granted by mid-2019, construction will start in early 2020 and be completed by the end of that year.
During construction, a temporary pontoon bridge will be in place for pedestrians to move between Te Wero Island and Viaduct Harbour.
If consent is delayed and the bridge is not able to be built by 2021, works will be undertaken to ensure the current crossing operates as efficiently as possible during a busy time.