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Heritage options for old Mangere Bridge

Auckland Regional Office

22 August 2006

Transit to consider heritage options for old Mangere Bridge

Transit New Zealand is taking time out to consider heritage options and gather community input on plans to replace the ‘Old Mangere Bridge’ pedestrian footbridge with a new pedestrian and cycle crossing in the same location, as part of its Manukau Harbour Crossing project.

As a result, Transit has withdrawn its resource consent application on the bridge, as part of earlier applications in May to the Auckland Regional Council, Auckland City Council and Manukau City Council.

Transit plans to resubmit the resource consent application on the bridge later this year after consulting with the community and key stakeholders such as the Historic Places Trust on further assessment of the historic bridge - which has high architectural, cultural and social significance, particularly for the two communities it connects – Onehunga and Mangere Bridge.

A Conservation report will be prepared in consultation with the Historic Places Trust, to consider if some of the key heritage values can be either maintained, or materials used, in the construction of the replacement footbridge. Included will be options for a proposed new fender structure to protect and strengthen the bridge against ship strikes.

The heritage options will not hold up the current plans for the overall project, which includes the upgrading of the Southwestern Motorway (SH20) between Walmsley Road and Queenstown Road and a duplicate motorway bridge over the Manukau Harbour, alongside the existing SH20 bridge.

This will create four lanes in each direction across the harbour including an auxiliary lane for local traffic and dedicated bus shoulder lanes. The Onehunga (Gloucester Park) interchange is also proposed to be upgraded.

The project received high priority from Transit in the most recent State Highway plan, as it forms a key part of the strategic Western Ring Route that will provide motorists with improved access between Manukau City and Albany. Transit intends to have the Manukau Crossing project ready for construction in 2008 and substantially completed in 2011, in time for the Rugby World Cup.

In the meantime, Transit has committed to repairs and maintenance on the old bridge to keep the structure safe, until it is replaced.

Years of use and corrosion meant the bridge had to be closed to traffic in the seventies. The bridge was built in 1914 by the same engineer who designed and constructed the Grafton Bridge. It remains one of the earliest reinforced concrete bridges crossing a harbour in New Zealand and is popular today for its pedestrian and cyclist access as well as recreational fishing.

ENDS

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