‘Get foreign help to build next bridge’

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The proposed ANZAC Centenary Bridge

The proposed "ANZAC Centenary Bridge"

The Sunday Star-Times reports a group of architects presenting at the Auckland Architecture week 2009 have proposed a design for a new harbour crossing:

In 2005 Richard Simpson first proposed the idea of a new harbour crossing – a bold new bridge that would take a more direct route between the city and the North Shore designed to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, vehicular traffic and trains.  The design would be the result of an international design competition for a bridge that not only fulfills the functional requirements of connection, but that would also contribute to the identity of Auckland – the greater city and the Waitemata Harbour.  Integral to this initiative are economic and social benefits resulting in the creation of jobs for the construction of the bridge and the urban renewal of the freed-up land on both sides of the current bridge along with others associated with tourism and the creative industries.

The proposed bridge thankfully includes provision for public transport and cycling. The group has made their own case for a bridge over a tunnel under the harbour:

THE CASE FOR A BRIDGE

  • Construction cost $2-3 billion compared to $3.7–$4.1b for the proposed tunnel
  • Operating cost of 1/5 to 13 of a tunnel (based on ventilation, lighting, drainage and maintenance)
  • About 350,000m2 of land valued at around $1b in St Mary’s Bay and Northcote Pt could be sold off after closure of bridge.
  • Travel time and distance savings worth about $60 million a year (based on a bridge being 1.2km shorter than a tunnel)
  • Estimated tourism benefits: $325 million a year (based on tourists staying an extra night)

Source: ANZAC Centenary Bridge Group

New Harbour Bridge proposal gives room for cyclists

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Mathew Dearnaley reports in the Herald on the likelihood of cycle and walkways being added to Auckland’s existing harbour crossing.

Auckland’s harbour bridge clip-ons could be candidates for “orthopaedic surgery” which would enable walking and cycling paths to be added and could improve their longevity.

The Transport Agency has been given a proposal by engineering consultants working with the Getacross campaign to find ways of adding walking and cycling links without shortening the life of the 40-year-old clip-ons.

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Ex-mayor claims ‘veil of secrecy’ over effect of future harbour crossing

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Wayne Thompson reports in the Herald on the concern about the lack of public involvement in the new harbour crossing project.

Former North Shore mayor George Wood has attacked what he calls a “veil of secrecy” over a future Waitemata Harbour Crossing project.

People who would be affected by the new crossing deserved to be treated far better, said Mr Wood, who was mayor from 1998 to 2007.

“NZ Transport Agency thinks it can push through this harbour crossing project on the basis it knows best and we will have to suffer what it offers,” Mr Wood told the North Shore City Council’s infrastructure and environment committee yesterday.

“The community must be told the impact of the crossing on North Shore’s arterial roads and potential adverse environmental, visual and ecological impacts.”

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Our Bridge

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gotacross!

What a fantastic day for Auckland! After 50 years of having the Auckland Harbour Bridge locked off to all those not in cars, today Aucklanders took back Our Bridge. I was right there at the front of the rally – impressed by the speeches (particularly that of Christine Rose) and heckling abuse at Wayne McDonald of NZTA. There were certainly a LOT of people there, perhaps more than the 2000 quoted by most newspapers.

For a while I thought we weren’t going to get across, as Wayne said “no” as we asked him nicely. But then we shifted down to the Curran Street onramp, found our way through the trees and onto the onramp itself. The police were there but didn’t really try to stop us – the crowd was just too great. First NZTA blocked off the clip-on lanes and then, perhaps because they were afraid of having so many people on the clip-ons, they blocked traffic off from the centre lanes too. So we had the entire northbound side of the bridge to ourselves. Everyone was jumping and yelling, absolutely exhilirated in what we’d achieved. It was a huge egg on Mr McDonald’s face in the end, as I’m sure traffic was absolutely screwed throughout the city. If NZTA had avoided being such idiots they could have easily managed it, but in the end it was their stupidity that led to the entire northbound side of the bridge having to be closed.

Leila and I walked across and back, seeing heaps of people of all ages, with kid, dogs and push-chairs. It was a day when we all celebrated being Aucklanders and celebrated the bridge as linking the city, not dividing it. This is just the start of things to come I hope – a day when the tide turned against our automobile-centric thinking.

As Christine Rose from the ARC said: “Let’s burn fat, not oil!”

What a fantastic day weather-wise for us, and also thanks to all the Aucklanders who turned up to celebrate Our Bridge. And to NZTA, shame on you for being such narrow-minded fools, it is your fault that the whole motorway got shut off, you could have organised this to run smoothly. Shame on you.

Photos here: http://transportblog.co.nz/2009/05/24/our-bridge/


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