Mangere Bridge Milestone


The final concrete closure pour on the new Mangere Bridge happens tomorrow night.

This means the bridge will be one continuous piece of infrastructure 650 metres long from end to end.

The final pour will be undertaken from approximately 7pm when temperatures are appropriate for pouring the concrete.

“From here we still need to add the barriers, paving and so forth, but the new Mangere Bridge is not far away from opening” said the NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland, Tommy Parker.

An opportunity for the community to walk on the new bridge before it opens to traffic soon afterwards is planned for Sunday, 25 July.

When fully complete at the end of August this year, the new and existing bridges combined will provide extra capacity with fours lanes of traffic and dedicated bus priority lanes in both directions.  On either side of the bridges, there will be three lanes of traffic and dedicated bus lanes in both directions between Queenstown Road and Walmsley Road.

In another NZTA project, work has started on a $4.5m safety project to upgrade the intersection of State Highway 16 and Taupaki and Old North Roads near Kumeu, west Auckland.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The present intersection controlled by give way signs will be replaced by a two lane roundabout.

“Our priority is to improve this already busy intersection to reduce delays and improve safety for all drivers on SH16 and the side roads,” says the NZTA’s State Highways manager for Auckland, Tommy Parker.

Mr Parker says a roundabout will smooth the flow of traffic and eliminate the long wait motorists often face in Taupaki and Old North Roads.

Most of the crashes at the intersection over the past nine years involve vehicles turning right from SH16.  There were also a number of crashes involving vehicles crossing the intersection without turning.

Mr Parker says the number of vehicles using SH16 at the intersections averages more than 20,000 a day and this is expected to grow as the region develops.

“Our design for the roundabout includes the two lanes to manage the predicted growth in traffic,” he says.

The contract for the project has been awarded to Downer EDI.

Mr Parker says the NZTA will keep the intersection open during construction so that any disruption to drivers is kept to a minimum.

“However, people will be driving through a construction zone and they will need to do so with care for their own safety and for the safety of the project’s workers,” he says

There will be some changes to the layout of the roads approaching the intersection, and the NZTA will use advertising and electronic roadside messages to keep drivers informed about traffic conditions.

The project also includes improved access for walkers and cyclists at the intersection, and bustops in both directions on SH16.




  1. Anthony says:

    I won’t be completley happy until the airport link is built, oh well, at least it is something.

  2. rtc says:

    Prepare for a life of unhappiness! Rail seems to be increasingly on the agenda, but it’ll be a long way aways before you can ignore the traffic and have a stress free trip from downtown to the aiport.

  3. Bill says:

    Let me comment that the Manukau Harbour Bridge duplication along with the Walmsley to Queenstown Widening project on SH20 is part of a huge list of exciting projects that were once in the planning stages, now fully in the delivery stages with the final products becoming reality. These projects don’t just cover the highways and roads, but also rail, cycling, walking, ferry and so much more.

    To appease those in favour of rail which I am too, because I believe in a balanced transport system that caters to all forms of transport, not just one form, the bridge allows for future rail to be accommodated on the new bridge as part of the Airport Rail Link. Three more bonuses (if you count walking separately) is the provision of bus priority lanes in both directions and a shared walking/cycling facility as well. Just to get back to the point about the future Airport Rail Link, I strongly believe that will happen, and the bridge provision just makes it even more of a reality.

    This and the other projects past, present and future are not just for the benefit of those that use it, it’s for the benefit and enjoyment of all New Zealanders. New Zealand absolutely deserves projects like this, and a whole lot of other exciting things. And as a proud and patriotic Kiwi I look forward to driving across the new bridge and widen highway, in addition to taking the train from the north and west of Auckland to the Airport, and vice versa. The new walking/cycling bridges, restoration of the Onehunga bridge, parks and landscaping also add to exciting and modern feel of the entire project. A project well done, indeed.

  4. ingolfson says:

    I agree with Bill that the “extra” work done here (especially walking & cycling) is of a very high spec, and it is good that the bridge was futureproofed for a rail line.

    But no, I can’t simply ignore the fact that this was a) another motorway project when this country was, is and will be spending about ten times as much on motorways as on public transport (no balance here!), and b) that the futureproofing for rail was very much a grudging last minute decision.

    The very high and fine (and useful, no question) quality of the final results doesn’t mean that this should have been the priority for Auckland. By expanding road capacity to the airport we REDUCE the case for ever building airport rail.

  5. Rationale says:

    Until a rail corridor is designated to the airport from Onehunga - the so-called future proofing of this bridge for rail is at best, fairly meaningless, I’m sorry to say.

    If a future rail line was designated now, my guess is that it would be much easier to achieve at this early stage, as land beside the motorway could possibly be used (if not designated for more road lanes).

  6. Bill says:

    Ingolfson I see what your saying, but I believe that they should really, truly divide the funding in half for both rail and road, so that both get their fair share of funding. However under the Key government funding in this area has been heavily directed towards highways and roads, and not just rail, which I agree is not the narrow way to go. I look forward to the project’s open day in July, official opening by probably none other than Steven Joyce in August, and the convenient drive on SH20 in September. Just to conclude as I mentioned in my previous comments I believe strongly in the future Airport Rail Link, which has been made evident in the bridge’s provision for rail.


  7. Scott says:


    Do you have any details on the future proofing for heavy rail?
    One or two lines? where will the tracks sit relative to the road bridge?

  8. ingolfson says:

    Scott, the future proofing to my understanding is limited to the bridge piers being strong enough to get a single-track “clip-on” lower down to the water level. That’s about it, as far as I know.

  9. Bill says:

    Scott as I understand it, the new bridge which is for SH20 southbound has been futureproofed for rail lines on the bridge’s piers just beneath it’s eastern side. This was done in order to save some of the costs associated with the bridge’s strengthening instead of building a new sole-purpose bridge.

    The route of the future Airport Rail Link goes from the soon to be opened Onehunga Line under a tunnel at Onehunga towards the Manukau Harbour Bridge. After the bridge crossing, the route would more than likely follow SH20 to the east and cross the motorway at the SH20A/20 junction. From there I believe they should place the rail lines in the centre of the SH20A Airport Motorway since they will be upgrading and extending the motorway in order to tie in with Airport development projects. However when the rail lines get close to the Airport, the location of where the rail lines and stations would best be placed at would need to be dealt with separately. After leaving the Airport the route would probably tie into the Southern Line at Puhinui, which would also allow for direct access to the Manukau Branch under construction.

    On the issue of how many rail lines, even though I say “rail lines” which means more than 1, they would more than likely put in 1 at first, but still allow for duplication at a future date.

    The provision for futureproofing the bridge comes from the NZTA, strong lobbying by the ARC and Auckland Airport and funding too by ARTA, and hopefully if so, by the Government.

    The future Airport Rail Link will strongly become reality.

  10. Bill says:

    Just a correction - I said “and hopefully if so, by the Government”. I meant to say that hopefully the Government would strongly participate in funding the entire future Airport Rail Link, now that the new bridge has provision for future rail lines.

  11. ingolfson says:

    “from the soon to be opened Onehunga Line under a tunnel at Onehunga towards the Manukau Harbour Bridge”

    Bill, what documents / decisions is this comment based on? Why would you build a costly tunnel when you can use an existing rail designation right down to the bridge?

    Can you confirm also whether the bridge was future-proofed for TWO tracks, or only one? I think two tracks is rather unlikely anyway, seeing that it would not be very useful unless you also double-tracked all the way to Penrose. Passing loops it will be, I think.

  12. Rationale says:

    Sorry - but in your enthusiasm (which is nice to see BTW),unfortunately you might be placing the cart before the horse. Until there’s a new rail designation for a line out to the airport, there’s no chance of a railway past the current designation (Track down to Onehunga Wharf).

    So, unfortunately there can’t even be a railway bridge attached to the current bridge until the corridor is designated. This is a reasonable expense in itself, which requires a decision from the powers that be. Designation must be a very useful piece of homework which not only protects the corridor but between this and the survey identifies and sorts out any potential problems for the railway and notifies neighbours and potential neighbours.

    A good illustration of the importance of rail designation is the Weston Branch, a shortened version of the Ngapara Branch in North Otago. This branch was lifted some years ago and the rail designation was supposed to have been retained. Due to a local council clerical error (apparently) the designation wasn’t retained. This corridor remains intact (more or less), with rails remaining in the roads even. Holcim NZ are looking at building a new plant which would entail relaying the railway, unfortunately the track couldn’t be relaid because the designation had been lost. Without rail, the plant couldn’t proceed; so the residents fought the plant, which they don’t want, on the basis of the rail designation. They lost the case, now if Holcim decide to build the plant, the railway can and will be laid because it’s now a rail corridor.

  13. Matt L says:

    Ingolfson - the problem with the existing rail designation down to the bridge is the fact it curves away from Onehunga making it difficult for a station to be on it. That means if we were to build an Airport line through Onehunga we would have to have the trains either bypass Onehunga (not a great idea) or move the station to a worse location further away from the town centre. The bad existing designation is the reason why the Onehunga station has been built on a small branch off the line.

    The reality is if we want the Airport line to include Onehunga we will have to have a tunnel somewhere to get it to the bridge. Also I imagine that at the time we do build the Airport line then we would then double track the existing line. It should be fairly easy as there aren’t any bridges to build/modify

  14. ingolfson says:

    Matt L, I disagree with you. The obvious place for a station on an Onehunga - Airport line would be the straight southward stretch underneath a rebuilt Neilson Street bridge. Sure, an increase of 50-100m walk from the town centre, but I’d think that would be worth saving the hundred-two hundred million that a tunnel would cost! It’s not like Onehunga would be THAT important that you’d spend a cool sum like that just to reduce the walk by that little.

    The alternative, with similar downsides, would be on the Princes Street alignment.

    And double tracking? Is the designation to Penrose wide enough, even? Buying that much land would mean some serious $$$ if not. Not to talk of all the other spots south of the existing designation to the airport where double tracks might be very costly.

    I simply do not see double-tracking or fancy tunnels as necessary. Unless our dear future leaders are REAL rail fans, we will still have to have a hard-nosed business case, and I am not sure such things will be in the budget. I’d rather build a workable solution than nothing.

  15. Joshua says:

    First thing to correct, the rail designation is set to cross under the motorway at Rimu and continue down the west side of the alignment, you can actually see where they have left enough space for rail down this side with the very large shoulder and extra long footbridge on this section.

    And lets face it, with or with out rail this project widening was absolutely needed, I would agree we should of built rail to the airport at the same time, but the widening project was much more needed than rail, and I think that will officially be the first and only time I will ever say that, given the way things are going. Now can you ask more than being 7 months ahead of schedule? Adding a massive amount of cycling and walking infrastructure, while assuring a route for rail? The only other thing you could of asked for was actual rail which you and me both know that both Governments were not going to fund.

    I tend to mostly agree with Bill, however it would of been nice to see rail to the airport by RWC time, which would of been achievable taking into account the 7month early completion of this project.

  16. ingolfson says:

    As has been noted, rail to the airport would likely not have been possible from a capacity point of view (available rolling stock and Britomart slots) at this time - unless we want the first impression foreign visitors get from our rail system be band-aid trains at 2 hour intervals ;-)


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