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Auckland Council is starting work this weekend on replacing the footbridge linking Tamaki Drive to Point Resolution and the Parnell Baths.
The bridge is being replaced for safety reasons after engineering reports showed that both sections of the bridge needed to be urgently replaced.
Waitemata Local Board chair Shale Chambers says the new bridge will be a simple and elegant structure that will continue to provide essential connections to and from the waterfront.
“In March next year we’ll have a striking new footbridge that will provide elevated views of the surrounding area and will be enhanced by the renewal of the adjoining walkway,” said Mr Chambers.
The bridge will be closed from Saturday until March 2013 and Mr Chambers apologised to bridge and swimming pool users for any inconvenience. He said the best time to replace the bridge was over the summer period before the KiwiRail electrification project begins.
“Logistically this is a challenging project, as we must balance a tight construction programme during the busiest part of the year and in a built-up area with unique cultural significance.”
Point Resolution is a significant site for local iwi, and the bridge design features Puungarungaru patterns – meaning ripples on the water.
Engineering reports showed that the 1927 section of the bridge over the railway line and tidal channel was at the end of its design life. The second section, which extended the bridge over Tamaki Drive in 1972, is also in need of refurbishment.
The engineers identified corrosion of the steelwork in the old section that was judged to only be safe for a further six months. The bridge was closed in March 2012 for repairs to allow continued use of the bridge while a long-term solution was identified.
Earlier this year the Waitemata Local Board selected a redesigned contemporary structure to replace all three spans of the bridge. The bridge renewal has a total budget of $3.5 million.
The timber access steps to St Stephens Avenue and the timber boardwalk to Parnell Baths and Judges Bay Road will both be upgraded, with the baths walkway upgrade occurring after the replacement of the bridge.
The Parnell Baths will be open as usual during the construction period. Parking in and around the baths is limited and patrons should consider using public transport or walking through Dove-Myer Robinson Park to the baths while the bridge is out of action.
For more information and for visuals of the new bridge please visit the Point Resolution footbridge replacement website page at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz under ‘Projects’.