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Mangere Bridge Open - Transit Thanks All Motorists

Transit Regional Office Auckland
2 April 2006
MEDIA RELEASE

Mangere Bridge open - Transit thanks all motorists

SH20 Mangere Bridge is now open in both directions. Northbound lanes opened at around 7.00am after a closure from late Friday evening, to replace two ten tonne bridge joints. Detours are in the process of 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 continued to stay away from the Mangere Bridge area. This helped enormously in reducing congestion and helped keep traffic flowing throughout the closure."

He points out that the northbound direction of the bridge will be closed again this coming weekend for the replacement of the final joint. "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 continue to shift southbound traffic over to the northbound side, which may slow down traffic around the construction site area at the bridge. 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 traffic information back to the operations centre, where call centre staff were answering queries from the public. Additional signage was added by the airport, to direct motorists towards the detours and helped keep traffic flowing.

The closures are required to replace the original bridge joints. Five joints have now been successfully replaced. The final joint, measuring nine metres in length and weighing ten tonnes will be replaced next weekend.

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

Mr Flanagan encourages motorists to continue to follow the travel advice next 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 carpooling to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road

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

ends

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