OLD MANGERE BRIDGE
After standing for more than a century, deterioration is closing parts of an iconic Auckland bridge.
The NZ Transport Agency has announced it will be installing a fence to keep the public from walking along the sides of the Old Mangere Bridge.
"This will allow a 5.8 metre wide path through the full length of the bridge to continue to provide walking and cycling access, while removing weight off the outer sections of the bridge," NZTA Auckland highway manager Brett Gliddon says.
The partial closure comes following structural inspections which show there is ongoing deterioration in the condition of the bridge.
The effects of this deterioration mean that a large load on the edges of the bridge could place it under enough pressure to pose a risk to public safety.
Two wide bays which are in the stronger sections of the bridge will remain open for fishing, Gliddon says.
The Old Mangere Bridge was constructed in 1914 and its condition has been deteriorating for a number of years.
The NZTA and Auckland Council are replacing the bridge, with construction proposed to start once consents for the new bridge is confirmed.
Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board chairman Simon Randall says the board has been briefed on the partial closure.
"We are looking forward to the new bridge and the opportunities it will provide for the area," Randall says
The development of the new Mangere bridge will be 250m long and a clearance of 4.8m at high tide.
It's one of several large scale projects currently under way in Onehunga.
Others include Panuku Development Auckland's regeneration plan and the East West Connections.
Jim Jackson, chairman of the Onehunga Enhancement Society, says a master plan is needed for Onehunga that sees all agencies working towards the same outcome.
The society has filed an appeal notice with the Environment Court opposing the resource consent for the new Mangere bridge.
In addition to a master plan Jackson says a new bridge must ensure accessibility to the upper harbour as it can provide multiple community and business opportunities.
The Old Mangere Bridge does not allow access for marine vessels to the upper harbour because of its low clearance.
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