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Mangere Bridge joint replacement to restart

14 March 2006

Mangere Bridge joint replacement to restart

Transit New Zealand would like to advise motorists that work to replace bridge joints on the Mangere Bridge on State Highway 20 will restart on the last weekend in March. Northbound lanes on the bridge will be closed on the following weekends:

* Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March

* Saturday 1 April and Sunday 2 April

* Saturday 8 April and Sunday 9 April

Northbound lanes will be closed all day Saturday, all of Saturday night and Sunday morning, before reopening at around 11am on Sunday morning. Southbound lanes will stay open throughout.

If bad weather postpones the work on any of the dates, the weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April will also be used.

The closures are required to replace the old bridge joints. One joint was successfully replaced in mid February. Five new joints, each measuring nine metres in length and weighing ten tonnes will require a crane to lift them individually and slot them into the bridge over the target weekends.

Transit Regional Operations Manager Joseph Flanagan says: "We apologise to motorists in advance for the inconvenience this closure is likely to cause. It is important that we replace the joints now, rather than risk the wider disruption that could be caused if the joints fail and bridge has to be closed at very short notice.

"The weekend closures will inevitably lead to delays. At its busiest on a weekend, we move around 3,200 vehicles per hour northbound across the bridge. We've devised a solution to maintain southbound travel, so at least airport traffic will be less affected, although traffic travelling past roadworks is usually slower moving."

Joseph Flanagan recommends ways motorists can help to reduce the delays:

* If you possibly can, avoid travel in the area altogether

* If you have to travel, follow the signposted detours

* Allow at least an hour extra for your journey, especially if you're travelling to or from the airport.

* If you have to travel, consider using buses, shuttles and car-pooling to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

Mr Flanagan says traffic on the day will be actively managed and monitored by Transit working closely with Manukau and Auckland City Councils and the Police. If a main detour route becomes clogged, detour signs will be changed to help direct motorists away from the worst of the congestion. Motorists travelling from the south to north, west and city central Auckland are recommended to use SH1, and stay away from SH20 altogether.

Local Mangere Bridge traffic should use local roads, and anyone leaving the airport should head for SH1 via SH20B (Puhinui Rd) which will be signposted from the airport.

Extensive print and radio advertising, as well as distribution of flyers in residential, commercial, leisure and industrial areas is being carried out to spread the message that motorists should avoid the area on the weekends of the closures.

Visitors to Pasifka and the Warriors game at the weekend were handed flyers about the closures.

Transit will also continue to work with partners including Auckland Regional Transport Authority, Auckland International Airport and Stagecoach, as well as Manukau, Papakura and Auckland councils to create awareness.

ENDS


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