Bridge up­grade to have higher level

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Com­mu­nity feed­back from both sides of the Manukau Har­bour has made a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the next phase of a pro­ject to re­place the Old Man­gere Bridge.

The re­place­ment for the bridge will be 8 me­tres wide rather than the 6 in the orig­i­nal plan, with some sec­tions or bays up to 12 me­tres wide, the New Zealand Trans­port Agency says.

It has re­ceived feed­back on the pro­posal from res­i­dents of both Man­gere Bridge and One­hunga and spokesman Tommy Parker says that feed­back will

the new in­form de­sign.

The Old Man­gere Bridge has linked Man­gere and One­hunga for nearly a cen­tury and is to be de­mol­ished and re­placed with a new struc­ture within the next five years.

The bridge was built in 1915 and has been closed to mo­tor traf­fic since 1983 when the new mo­tor­way was opened.

More than 600 peo­ple use the bridge for walk­ing, cycling and fish­ing on any given day.

But re­peated blows from

bridge’s pass­ing ships and gen­eral wear and tear mean the bridge will be­come un­safe not long af­ter its 100th birth­day.

The widen­ing of the bridge is one of the most sig­nif­i­cant changes to the orig­i­nal plan and ‘‘will en­sure that peo­ple can con­tinue to en­joy to fish from the new bridge and walk and cy­cle across it safely’’, Mr Parker says.

It will also have a higher clear­ance above the har­bour than the cur­rent bridge, which should en­sure bet­ter boat ac­cess.

En­hanced

light­ing,

seat- ing, rail­ings and rub­bish bins will also be in­cor­po­rated into the de­sign.

De­sign ele­ments that re­flect the area’s iwi con­nec­tions and his­tory are planned but are yet to be con­firmed.

The agency has ad­ver­tised ten­ders to de­sign the new bridge and a suc­cess­ful ten­der is ex­pected to be an­nounced in Oc­to­ber.

There will be an­other chance for com­mu­nity feed­back early next year when the de­tailed de­sign for the pro­ject is re­leased. Con­struc­tion will start later in 2014.

Safety is­sue: The Old Man­gere Bridge was built in 1915 and is now pop­u­lar with walk­ers, cy­clists and fish­er­men.

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