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Harbour Bridge Celebrates 45 Years

28 may 2004

Auckland Harbour Bridge Celebrates 45 Years Of Connecting Auckland

The Auckland Harbour Bridge celebrates 45 years of connecting Auckland City and North Shore City this month. Opened in late May 1959, the Auckland Harbour Bridge was the first major bridge construction of its kind in New Zealand and has undergone various upgrades, extensions and the addition of the Japanese-manufactured clippon lanes in 1966.

One week prior to the official opening on May 30th 1959, 100,000 pedestrians crossed the then 4-lane bridge, an event that positioned the Harbour Bridge as an Auckland and New Zealand icon.

Transit New Zealand own and operate the Auckland Harbour Bridge and oversee the operation of the Bridge.

“The Auckland Harbour Bridge had a profound effect on the Auckland region, in the first instance opening up the North Shore to massive commercial and residential development,” says Transit Regional Manager Wayne McDonald. ‘Within a few years of its opening it became apparent that the bridge capacity would have to be increased and the ‘Nippon clip-ons were added, giving the bridge an extra four lanes. Now we are looking at ways to relieve the present capacity by developing the western ring route and also investigating an additional Waitemata Harbour crossing, which could be either a bridge or a tunnel.”

The Auckland Harbour Bridge currently transports on average between 160,000 – 180,000 vehicles each day, as well as offering both a Bridge Climb and Bungy, operated by AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand.

“This is such a great iconic structure to operate adventure activities on”, says AJ Hackett Bungy Co-founder Henry van Asch. “We are really enthusiastic about offering both Aucklanders and visitors the chance to experience the Harbour Bridge from a different perspective”.

Tourism Auckland acting chief executive Rochelle Lockley says Auckland and the Harbour Bridge are inextricably linked.

“As well as being a distinctive feature of Auckland’s landscape, it is a multi-faceted tourism attraction. It’s a great place to see Auckland from all angles,” she says.

Alex Swney of Heart of the City agrees that the Auckland Harbour Bridge is evolving from providing a vital transportation link to also becoming a destination for those wanting a fuller experience on the Bridge.

"There may be no plans to alter the bridge at the moment, but the addition of A J Hackett Bungy and Bridge Climb have made it literally and figuratively 'deeper' - from my personal experience of both of these activities are a MUST do".

To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Bridge opening, Bungy or Bridge Climbs are available at the special price of $45 per person on weekends only until the end of June. Call 0800 GO BUNGY for details.


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