John “Committed To Public Transport” Banks Reopens Grafton Bridge (Photos)


Auckland’s Mayor, John Banks, this morning officially re-opened Grafton Bridge, a project completed three months ahead of schedule.2009-10-04 at 09-57-04

He has used the occasion to state his commitment to public transport in Auckland.

“This project is a tangible example of our commitment to fast and efficient public transport as a vital component of a world-class city. The completion of this project is a significant milestone in our plans to further improve the city’s transport infrastructure by providing the means for reliable and efficient public transport.”

DogsSadly, persistent rain dampened any festive occasion and only a trickle of people attended.

The bridge will reopen to traffic tomorrow and will operate as a bus lane between 7am and 7pm, weekdays. Emergency vehicles, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians will have access at all times.

Grafton Bridge was constructed from 1908 and opened  in 1910 which is one year before the present Auckland Town Hall and two before the Central Post Office. In 1910 Grafton Bridge was regarded as the world’s longest single-span concrete bridge at 98m (320 feet) long, 43m (142 feet) high.

2009-10-04 at 09-41-09Family members of former Mayor Charles Grey, who first opened Grafton Bridge in 1910 were present and a family member of Mr Grey presented the Mayor with the original scissors used to open the bridge 99 years ago.

Grafton Bridge is the council’s key part of its much lauded “Central Connector” – a dedicated bus priority corridor linking the CBD and Newmarket and the council’s most significant transport project since the completion of Britomart.

The route runs from Khyber Pass Road - Park Road - Grafton Bridge - Symonds Street - Anzac Avenue - Customs Street - Britomart. The Link bus service will begin using the route immediately with more to be added over the next few months in anticipation of Ontrack completing work on the Park Road overbridge later this year. The bus lanes are planned to reach full capacity by February 2010.crowd

The plan is that when completely operational, the Central Connector will provide an estimated 65,000 Aucklanders each weekday with quicker, more reliable bus travel between Newmarket and the CBD and key locations such as the University Learning Quarter, Auckland City Hospital, the Medical School and Auckland Domain.

It will also link bus passengers with trains and buses at Britomart, ferries at Downtown, bus lanes on Khyber Pass Road and future rail connections on Park Road.

In addition to providing improved public transport, the new landscaping, planting, footpaths, street furniture and shared cycle lanes will improve the safety and attractiveness of the area for cyclists and pedestrians.
grafton plaque




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    You were brave going along John, the weather was put me off…

    Old Jon committed to PT eh..? At least in his speeches this term..!

  2. Cambennett says:

    More likely “committed to whatever the National party deems best for Auckland”

  3. Pia Pratap says:

    Good on you Mayor Banks!
    We need a person that can get things done, that’s why you were voted in as Mayor, AGIAN.
    The people of Auckland aren’t stupid, we wanted a strong leader that could get things moving in this (biggest) city (in NZ), and i reckon job well done!

  4. Sam F says:

    His Worship seems to have a knack with this sort of thing - I recall him fighting the ‘white elephant’ Britomart project tooth and nail (surely someone else remembers too?), and then turning up to open it with a big grin for the cameras when it finally did get done.

  5. Cambennett says:

    Sam F - Yes i remember that. A believe he called Britomart “that temple at the bottom of Queen st” and it was only airtight contracts signed under Christine Fletcher that stopped him from pulling the plub on construction. Lets hope this change is genuine.


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