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SH20 Mangere Bridge - Two weekends still to go

Transit Regional Office

30 March 2006

Media Release

SH20 Mangere Bridge - Two weekends still to go

Transit New Zealand is once again reminding motorists that SH20 Mangere Bridge will be closed this weekend to northbound traffic and warns that closures may take longer this week. Delays are also likely for southbound traffic.

Last week’s closures were successful thanks to motorists avoiding the area and achieving a reduction in traffic of around 50% compared to a normal weekend. The same reduction is required this weekend to avoid major delays.

The closures are required for the replacement of the bridge’s expansion joints.

Northbound traffic will be not be able to use the bridge from around midnight on Friday, all day Saturday and through to Sunday morning to around 11am. However, southbound traffic (towards the airport) will still be able to use the bridge by being moved onto the northbound lanes.

The bridge will stay open to southbound traffic throughout the work because of the importance of having access to Auckland International Airport. But shifting the southbound traffic means that these lanes will be slower moving than usual and motorists should allow extra travelling time.
Three ten tonne, nine metre joints have now been successfully replaced, with three joints still to go. To install the remaining three joints and complete the work, two more lane closures are required on:

- Saturday 1 April and Sunday 2 April
- Saturday 8 April and Sunday 9 April

It is possible that inclement weather may prevent the work from going ahead on either of the next two weekends. If this happens, the work will be rescheduled for Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April. Bad weather during the job may also mean the bridge reopens later than expected on Sunday.

Transit New Zealand Northern Operations Manager, Joseph Flanagan, is once again asking those motorists who are able to, to stay away from the bridge over this coming weekend: “Fewer vehicles on the road last weekend meant no major delays and we are hoping that this will be achieved again this weekend,” he says.

“The work this weekend is more complicated so it may take longer to reopen the bridge. The new joints need to be lined up exactly with those already fitted, and shifting southbound traffic onto northbound lanes takes more time to manage. Bad weather could also compound the challenges. If it looks like the bridge won’t be opened by 11am on Sunday, we’ll let radio stations know and we’ll put the information up www.transit.govt.nz and www.trafficnz.info. Our call centre staff will also be able to assist on 0800 737 325.

“We strongly recommend that motorists avoid the area if they possibly can, and those who have to travel should be aware that delays of up to one hour are likely. We recognise the inconvenience that this could cause and stress we are carrying out the work now to avoid bigger delays if any of the existing joints failed and the bridge had to be shut at short notice.”

Traffic will be managed so that if main detours become busy, detour signs will change to direct motorists away from the worst of the congestion. The routes will be the same, and there will be minor adjustments to the location of some signs.

You can continue to help reduce delays by:

- Avoiding travel in the area altogether.
- If you do have to travel, follow the signposted detours and consider using buses, shuttles and car-pooling to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
- Allow at least an hour extra for your journey, especially if you're travelling to or from the airport.

Route advice:
- If you are travelling from the airport to the city, the north or the west, please use SH20B Puhinui Rd and connect to the Southern Motorway (SH1) at Manukau.

- 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 also use SH20B Puhinui Rd and connect to the Southern Motorway (SH1) at Manukau. Signs will then direct you as appropriate back onto SH20 just north of the Mangere Bridge.

- Traffic heading north on Roscommon Rd, from the south, should use the signed detour along Wiri Station Rd to the Southern Motorway (SH1). For those motorists who need to get back onto SH20, signage will be in place.

- Any vehicles that stay on SH20 heading north, will be taken of the motorway at Massey Rd Interchange and detoured along Massey Rd, Salesyard Rd, Great South Rd, Church St and Neilson St and back onto SH20 north of Mangere Bridge. If you are travelling to the City, west or to the north then we recommend that you join the Southern Motorway via the South Eastern Highway from the intersection with Church St and Great South Rd.

- Any traffic trying to enter the Motorway via SH20A or from the Mangere Bridge township area will be directed via Kirkbride Rd, McKenzie Rd, Walmsley Rd, Favona Rd, James Fletcher Drive and connect to the Massey Rd detour route at Salesyard Rd.

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

- See www.maxx.co.nz for public transport information


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