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Mangere Bridge closed this weekend

Transit New Zealand
Auckland Regional Office

22 March 2006

Reminder to motorists - Mangere Bridge closed this weekend - please stay away

Transit New Zealand would like to remind all road users that northbound lanes on SH20 Mangere Bridge will be closed this weekend Saturday 25 March to Sunday 26 March.

Northbound lanes will be closed all day Saturday and Saturday night and will be re-opened on Sunday morning at around 11am. Southbound lanes on the bridge will stay open all weekend.

Transit Northern Operations Manager Joseph Flanagan says: "We are reminding people that there will be delays this weekend and repeating the advice to avoid the area if you possibly can. We understand this may inconvenience some people and apologise to them in advance for this."

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 next three weekends.

"We are doing the work over weekends to avoid much longer delays and disruption that would result if any of the existing joints were to fail and the bridge had to be closed at short notice," says Mr Flanagan.

H says there will be extensive traffic management, detours and signs in place on Saturday and Sunday. "We have also run an extensive communications campaign to forewarn people of the closures and ask that they stay away. We've been working with stakeholders including the Police, Fire Service, Manukau City Council, Auckland City Council, ARTA, Auckland International Airport and MAXX as well as many others. At the same time we have been communicating with business and community organisations across South Auckland to ask that people stay away from the bridge during the closure.

"During the weekend, we'll be monitoring CCTV and liaising with the police and traffic signal operators from the ATTOMS Traffic Management Centre at Northcote. We'll be in regular contact with radio stations to keep them updated on the situation and motorcyclists will be travelling around the area and reporting back on the length of queues. Detour signs will be in place, and routes will be adapted during the weekend according to conditions.

"We will be doing everything we can to monitor the situation, gather real-time information and react as fast as we can to keep traffic flowing. We know just how difficult the situation is; only last night an incident south of the Mangere Bridge again illustrated just how quickly traffic can bank-up."

Mr Flanagan offers the following travel advice during the closure

- Avoid the area if you can
- If you have to travel allow extra time - at least one hour - for your journey, especially to or from the airport
- Consider using public transport, shuttles or car pooling to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road

Route advice
- If you have to travel, follow the detour signs. These may change throughout the weekend in response to traffic conditions. The detour signs will not be in place until very late on Friday night, so as not to confuse motorists.

- If you are travelling from the airport to the city, the north or the west, please use:
SH20B Puhinui Rd, to Wiri Station Rd and onto the Southern Motorway (SH1).

- If you are leaving the airport, and would normally take SH20A George Bolt Memorial Drive to reach a point north of Mangere Bridge, you should use SH20B Puhinui Rd, onto Wiri Station Rd to SH1. Signs will show the route back onto SH20 via Neilson St north of Mangere Bridge.

- Traffic travelling on Roscommon Rd towards Mangere Bridge should use Wiri Station Rd to State Highway 1. To get back onto SH20, exit at the South Eastern Highway towards Neilson Street.

- If you are travelling from the south on SH1 and heading to a destination north of Mangere Bridge, stay on SH1.

- Any vehicles that stay on SH20 heading towards Mangere Bridge will be taken off the motorway at Massey Rd, and travel via Salesyard Rd, Great South Rd, the South Eastern Highway and Neilson St back onto SH20 north of Mangere Bridge.

- Traffic from the airport wishing to get to Mangere, Mangere Bridge Township and Favona should use SH20A George Bolt Memorial Dr as usual.

Regular traffic updates will be broadcast via radio stations and will also be available on

www.trafficnz.info
0800737 325
www.maxx.co.nz for public transport information

The closures are also scheduled to take place on:
* Saturday 1 April and Sunday 2 April * Saturday 8 April and Sunday 9 April

Contingency dates are currently the weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April.

ENDS

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