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Bridging the gap between east and west

Bridging the gap between east and west

Aucklanders could soon be able to stroll with ease along the CBD’s waterfront in light of Auckland City’s commitment to investigate options for a bridge that would link the Viaduct with Wynyard Point to the west.

Auckland City’s Economic Development and Sustainable Business Committee yesterday reinforced the proposal to include a bridge in the concept plan for the area. The committee recognised the importance of such a bridge for potential development of the western reclamation area (also known as Wynyard Point or the tank farm).

Mayor of Auckland City, Dick Hubbard agrees, and says strategic planning for the area has uncovered many challenges and opportunities, including the potential for an iconic art bridge that connects an important part of the CBD with the western peninsula while also increasing the potential for a greater mix of uses in the area.

“The bridge will act as a catalyst for development of the wider waterfront. We envisage the art bridge to be an iconic structure to mark the entry to New Zealand’s most prominent harbour.

“The final design will reflect the special maritime character of the area and convey a strong sense of place for the city and harbour. This is something that will capture and inspire Aucklanders and visitors alike.

“Internationally, bridges have traditionally become iconic objects and are treated as homage to the arts of architecture and engineering. Locally, both Wellington and Waitakere City have examples of smaller bridges that have been created by a collaboration of artists and engineers to make a piece of infrastructure that is functional while also representing a strong identity for the area,” he says.

The bridge will complete the pedestrian and public transport circuit around Viaduct Harbour and the waterfront “promenade” experience along Quay Street, linking the arena, Britomart and ferry buildings, the Viaduct, Maritime Museum and Te Wero Island and beyond along Jellicoe Street to the views of Westhaven Marina.

“Most of the recent feedback the council has received about the CBD waterfront acknowledge that it is critical to complete this east-west link,” says Mr Hubbard.

Auckland City, in consultation with stakeholders, is currently developing a concept plan for the western reclamation area. Further detail about the bridge and the concept plan will emerge from the waterfront planning process, which is currently underway. This process includes further consultation with land owners, leasees and other interested parties on Wynyard Point.

It is expected that the concept plan for Wynyard Point will be finalised by December this year, with a view to report to the February meeting of the Economic and Sustainable Business Committee.

ENDS

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