The newest walking and cycling bridge on the North Shore has opened, giving communities an iconic new connection over the Northern Motorway and directly into Albany.
The striking red Tirohanga Whānui Bridge which means ‘panoramic view’ reconnects the community between the East Coast Bays and the Albany metro centre, as part of the Northern Corridor Improvements project.
Upper Harbour Local Board members and Albany Ward Councillors joined The Transport Agency, Watercare, Mana Whenua, community members and local school children to celebrate today's bridge opening.
A group of keen cyclists also took a first ride across the bridge and tried out the new three-metre shared paths that now connect Spencer Road with Corinthian Drive
NZ Transport Agency Acting Senior Project Delivery Manager, Karen Boyt, says the 110-metre bridge enables local residents and school children to walk and cycle safely between suburbs divided by a motorway.
“The bridge opens up the area and gives more choices for people to get to Albany Bus Station, the business area, as well as schools and the university.”
The $10M bridge includes a new water main which has been installed directly underneath the bridge, to help cater for the growing needs of the area over the next 40 years. It links to a new pump station and existing water reservoir at Corinthian Drive.
Once the pump station opens, it will pump 20 million litres of treated water a day through to a reservoir in Pinehill, providing water supply to surrounding areas.
Watercare Chief Infrastructure Officer Steve Webster, says the bridge and water main were built with the future in mind.
“This part of the North Shore is growing rapidly and we need to ensure that the transport and water infrastructure is in place to meet that growth. So we worked together to develop the bridge and water main over the motorway so we could minimise any disruption to the local surrounding community.”
Upper Harbour Local Board Chair Margaret Miles says today's bridge opening has created much needed and appreciated connectivity for the surrounding community.
"The need to improve water supply to Albany has provided a wonderful opportunity to create new walking and cycling links for our community to access local employment, bus services and the many wonderful recreational facilities available in Albany."
The bridge is part of work to build over 7kms of walking and cycling paths for the Northern Corridor Improvements project. The project will provide a much-needed transport upgrade for the whole Albany and North Shore community. It also includes a proposed busway station, a new motorway connection between SH1 and SH18 and will open up access to the Western Ring Route and travel out to the airport.