New Mangere Pedestrian Bridge
Replacement for the Old Mangere Bridge needs careful consideration.
The New Zealand Transport Agency is preparing the next round of public consultation regarding the proposed $18 million replacement of the existing Mangere Pedestrian Bridge. This bridge has served both the Mangere Bridge and Onehunga communities very well over its 100 year life and the new structure should as well.
The Manukau Harbour Restoration Society is seeking to ensure any new bridge has a lifting section to open up the upper Manukau Harbour after being land locked for the last 100 years. A lifting section must allow medium sized ships access to the upper harbour. The SH20 high level bridges have 12 meters of clearance to allow vessels to access the upper harbour. To not future proof any replacement structure would appear to be short sighted and will limit sensible redevelopment of the upper harbour for the next 100 years.
Pacifica Shipping no longer calls at the Port of Onehunga and Holcim’s cement facility is due to be relocated to the Waitemata Harbour around 2016. Over the bridge’s 100 year history many larger ships using the port have at some stage encountered berthing issues and accidently damaged the pedestrian bridge. As we move forward I would expect the port being used by smaller fishing vessels the $5 million budget allocated for strengthening could be used for a lifting section.
The NZ Transport Agency is the total funder of the project and is working closely with Auckland Council who eventually will become the owners of the new pedestrian bridge.
With construction due to start in 2016 our community should be encouraging NZTA to include a lifting section as it is critical that the upper harbour is redeveloped in a sensible manner.