Heavy lifting work will take place on the Southern Motorway this month as the towers and columns that will support a new bridge are put in place.
Individual bridge beams are scheduled to be lifted throughout September.
The pedestrian bridge will connect communities now divided by the motorway and link to a new 4.5-kilometre walking and cycling path between Papakura and Takanini.
The 106.5-metre curved bridge at Pescara Point is shaped like an eel and will include a scale-type pattern within the balustrade and on the retaining wall approaches.
NZ Transport Agency’s Andrew Thackwray says the $7m steel bridge is designed to reflect the natural contour of the coastal environment around it.
It will be 3.1m wide and 6.2m above the motorway lanes and will be painted black with white up and safety lighting at night.
“The project is improving motorway capacity and efficiency but cycling is Auckland’s fastest-growing transport mode and this bridge will provide a wonderful community connection for pedestrians and cyclists," says Andrew Thackwray.
The bridge is critical to Papakura Local Board’s pathways plan because it links the path between the Papakura and Takanini interchanges with existing Manukau Harbour and Pahurehure Inlet coastal paths, and on to local footpaths.
The board says its pathways will provide people with improved access to schools, work and community destinations.
The motorway will be closed over several nights next month to allow the bridge spans, each measuring between 30m and 45m, to be put in place.
That has led to safety concerns and calls for motorists to stay alert, keep to the speed limits and watch their following distances.
The bridge is one of the last pieces of infrastructure to be finished on the project, which covers the 9km stretch of SH1 from its connection with SH20 at Manukau to the Papakura interchange.
More lanes have been added, the Takanini Interchange upgraded, and new landscape planting and noise walls have been added alongside the path and pedestrian bridge. The project is on target to be completed by the end of this year.
For more on the project, click here.