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Public to get first look at proposed harbour bridge pathway

11 Aug 2011

Public to get first look at proposed harbour bridge pathway

Public and private groups investigating the feasibility of a pathway design on the Auckland Harbour Bridge have jointly agreed a design to be put forward for approval by NZTA. The design is to be publicly unveiled on Sunday, Aug 21 at 3pm at Wynyard Quarter by Mayor Len Brown so that Aucklanders can give their feedback.

The Pathway Working Group (PWG) has worked closely with NZTA and its bridge consultants Beca, to agree upon an engineering solution for the proposed walking and cycling pathway on the Auckland Harbour Bridge. An acceptable pedestrian management system will need to be approved by NZTA to limit the number of pedestrians on the Pathway at any one time.[1]

PWG spokesman Bevan Woodward says that from an operational health and safety perspective, probably no more than 1,000 users are wanted on the Pathway at any one time[2]. “However this allows for a conservative throughput of 5,000 people per hour[3], which is more than sufficient to make the project doable,” he says.

“The number of Pathway users will be controlled by the barrier gates with a counting device and overseen by on-site security personnel and CCTV cameras.

“The advantage of this system is that we are able to reduce the numbers on the Pathway should traffic loadings on the AHB significantly increase over the next 20 years. For example if the peak loading time of 3 to 4pm on weekdays was becoming a concern, then user numbers during this period could be reduced[4].”

Mr Woodward says a similar system of monitoring and control the number of Pathway users was first proposed for the AHB in 2007 by NZTA’s predecessor Transit NZ[5]. “It helps ensure that the proposed Pathway will not impact on the bridge’s ability to carry additional traffic in the future.”

The proposed Pathway has been costed by quantity surveyors WT Partnership. In summary the indicative preliminary cost estimates (including contingencies) are:

Pathway and access ramps $17.4M
Bridge additional strengthening $3.8M
Design review costs $1.6M

Total cost, completed as a tolled facility $22.8M

Hopper Developments has advised that the proposed toll of $2 for HOP card users (and $5 for cash/credit card/text users) over a 20 year period, will support a total construction cost of $23M.

The public launch of the Pathway’s concept design is happening on Sunday, August 21, 3pm at Wynyard Quarter. Aucklanders will be asked for their feedback on the proposed design.

Mayor Len Brown, MP Nikki Kaye and Leigh Hopper will make brief announcements. Rod Oram will MC the event.

PWG spokesman Bevan Woodward says the group is very pleased to have made such good progress over the last three months.

“Personally, I’d like to commend NZ Transport Agency for their commitment to the process.”

Pathway Architect Barry Copeland says: “A computer animation, scale models and large images of the concept design will be unveiled at the Public launch. There are also a number of additional design features that Aucklanders will be asked to rate; for example the addition of observation decks to the Pathway, enhanced access ramps and special night lighting of the Pathway and bridge.”

Aucklanders are to be asked to give their feedback at wwwgetacross.org.nz from Sunday, August 21st.

ENDS

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