Bridge access battle goes on
Cycling and walking advocates are still pushing for trial access to the Auckland Harbour Bridge this summer.
That’s despite transport authorities shelving plans for a permanent walkway and cycleway, saying it’s not a priority.
GetAcross spokesman Bevan Woodward says the stance is disappointing, given the wide public support for the project.
He wants to see the New Zealand Transport Agency take a “can do” attitude to providing trial access this summer.
“Logistically, it is easy to do because the bridge’s northbound clip-on lanes will be closed each Saturday night for the strengthening project,” he says.
“The lanes could remain closed until early afternoon on Sunday to allow Aucklanders to walk and cycle across the harbour.”
Transport agency acting regional manager Tommy Parker says a trial hasn’t been formally considered, but would be difficult.
“There will be significant implications for ensuring safety if people walk up there, also traffic management issues as to how you get people on and off,” he says.
“The bridge is closed for the marathon but there are a lot of special management plans that are put in place for that.
“For a general opening that would be much more difficult.”
Mr Parker says the transport agency board decided a permanent walking and cycleway is not a priority.
Reasons for the decision included the cost, estimated at $43 million plus the cost of connections on both sides.
It would also mean more maintenance costs and vehicle restrictions on the bridge.
“Increased loading on the clip-on lanes will mean that you have to adjust loading elsewhere, which will mean restrictions to heavy goods vehicles,” he says.