Auckland Harbour Bridge temporary repair completed

3:16 pm on 23 September 2020

The Transport Agency says there has been a significant reduction in congestion in Auckland now that two additional lanes on the harbour bridge are open after overnight repairs.

Repair work carried out on the Auckland Harbour Bridge overnight on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Workers repairing the bridge strut las night. Photo: Supplied / Waka Kotahi NZTA

Temporary repair work on the Auckland Harbour Bridge has been successfully carried out overnight.

A truck crashed into a strut on the bridge arch on Friday, after being hit by 127km/h wind gusts, closing four lanes.

Overnight, the lower half of the strut was replaced with a section of freshly fabricated steel.

Another lane heading into the city and an extra northbound lane were reopened this morning - making three in total each way.

Extra lanes were opened on Wednesday after a damaged strut was repaired.

Two further lanes were reopened this morning after a temporary fix on the damaged strut. Photo: NZTA

The agency's transport services manager, Brett Gliddon, said in press conference this afternoon traffic was flowing well in the city right now and he hoped that would repeat this afternoon.

He said the reduced capacity meant public transport remained the best option for getting across the harbour.

"We've had an uplift on public transport, ferries in particular - buses haven't quite been as popular - but I would say there is a lot of capacity on the buses so people shouldn't be afraid that there's not going to be room.

"If you are going into the city use public transport."

People should use the Western Ring Route if possible to ease the pressure on the bridge, he said.

He said he did not know yet how much the temporary and permanent fix would cost, with the permanent fix likely four or five weeks away.

Earlier, Gliddon told Morning Report it wasn't entirely straightforward getting the strut in place and removing the old one, so re-opening the two extra lanes took a little longer than hoped.

"[The old strut] didn't come out as expected so they had to cut it, and then when you create a new strut in such a quick time, they did have to modify it slightly on site.

"That strut has been in there for sixty-plus years so it took a little bit of getting out."

The temporary repairs passed the live-load test using heavy vehicles, he said.

Watch: Time lapse of the replacement steel strut being installed

The permanent solution will take several weeks, with design work under way and fabricating and peer review to come.

Engineering firm Beca was doing the design, with the firms doing the peer review yet to be chosen.

The agency had set aside two nights to do the work, but low wind and good temperatures and visibility meant the installation and testing was done in one night.

"We're still going to encourage people to use public transport, to continue to use the western ring route - especially heavy vehicles - if they can and also to change their travel pattern.

"The bridge, while we've got this temporary fix in, is still not in its final state and still has a level of vulnerability with it."

Overweight vehicles are not allowed on the bridge, and heavy vehicles are asked to use the western ring route until the permanent solution is installed. Buses will continue to use the clip-on lanes.

The bus priority lane that had been in place for the past two days at the Fanshawe Street on-ramp has been relocated to the left of the on-ramp. The Curran Street northbound on-ramp is being re-opened to traffic.

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