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Mangere Bridge open - Transit thanks all motorists

Transit Regional Office Auckland
26 March 2006

MEDIA RELEASE

Mangere Bridge open - Transit thanks all motorists

SH20 Mangere Bridge is now open in both directions, 3 hours ahead of schedule. Northbound lanes opened at around 8.40am after a closure from the early hours of Saturday morning night to replace two ten tonne bridge joints. Detours are currently being removed.

Transit New Zealand Northern Operations Manager, Joseph Flanagan, says all elements of the job went according to plan and fine weather yesterday helped speed the completion of this weekend's joint replacement. "Major delays were avoided because of the number of motorists who stayed away from the Mangere Bridge area. This helped enormously in reducing congestion and helped keep traffic flowing throughout the closure."

He points out that lanes in the northbound direction of the bridge will be closed again this coming weekend for the replacement of two more joints. "Once again we are asking people to avoid the area if possible. If you have to travel, please continue to build in some extra time. Next time, the closure will be complicated by the use of the northbound lanes for southbound traffic, so motorists travelling to the airport should continue to allow extra time. Once again, we do understand this may inconvenience some people and apologise for this."

The use of motorcyclists, CCTV and people on the ground helped in getting intelligence back to the operations centre, where call centre staff were answering queries from the public. Traffic signals were adjusted in some areas to help clear traffic. Next weekend, there will be some additional signage for the areas where motorists wanted extra direction.

The closures are required to replace the original bridge joints. Three joints have now been successfully replaced. Three further joints, each measuring nine metres in length and weighing ten tonnes are still to be replaced over the next two weekends.

"We are doing the work over weekends to avoid longer delays if any of the existing joints were to fail." says Mr Flanagan.

Mr Flanagan encourages motorists to continue to follow the travel advice next weekend and the following weekend:

- 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

More route advice will released next week before the next closures. Contingency dates are currently the weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April.

ends


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