Onehunga Pedestrian Bridge Opens


The new pedestrian/cycle bridge spanning Onehunga Harbour Road will be officially opened  tomorrow afternoon.

NZTA hopes it will provide safe crossing across Onehunga Harbour Road between the Old Mangere Bridge and Onehunga.

The NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland, Tommy Parker, says that on average, over 15,000 vehicles use Onehunga Harbour Road to enter or exit the Southwestern Motorway [State Highway 20] each day.

“The new bridge provides a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists to cross this busy road, and will dramatically improve the connectivity between the suburbs of Mangere Bridge and Onehunga,” he says.

Mr Parker says significant time was spent with local community representatives to design a bridge that most suited the needs and wishes of its users.  More elaborate designs were passed over in favour of a simple look that better suited the busy environment.

The bridge itself is 3.5 metres wide with vertical side barriers to meet the needs of both pedestrians and cyclists.  Its distinctive curved vertical and horizontal geometry -  “not a straight line in it!”, to quote the team responsible for its constructions -  developed from the needs of maintaining adequate clearance over the road, providing access for people with disabilities, and maintaining visual sightlines for personal safety.

Construction of the bridge foundations was also complex due to the variable nature of the underground geology.  The northern end sits on the edge of the Hopua Tuff Ring, which encircles a large infilled volcanic crater encompassing the northern side of the Landing Restaurant and Gloucester Park. Some of the bridge piles had  to pass through the volcanic deposits to found 30m down on sandstone. Other piles at the south end sit on top of a thick basalt layer.

The technical difficulty of the bridge construction and its location meant at times work could be noisy and disruptive.  Mr Parker extends the gratitude and thanks of the NZTA and its Alliance partners to the community.

Earlier work on the SH20

The bridge is part of a wider pedestrian / cycle network that runs from Beachcroft Avenue Bridge through Onehunga, across Old Mangere Bridge and through Waterfront Road Reserve.  It also provides excellent connectivity to the Waikaraka Walkway which runs around the upper reaches of the Mangere arm of the Manukau Harbour from Onehunga, around through Penrose and back to Mangere Bridge.




  1. max says:

    The bridge looks lovely, with the curved stuff actually living up to the “ad copy” for once.

    More importantly yet, it will really improve cycling in the area - having only been down there on weekends, I did not appreciate how extra extra difficult it could be to cross Onehunga Harbour Road during peak times, until I visited during a Friday afternoon some weeks ago.

    NZTA did a real swell job with cycling around Onehunga. Now we only need to convince Council to improve the part of Onehunga Mall from the bridge to the town centre, and we have a great commuting route from Mangere to Onehunga including the train station (or vice versa).

  2. joust says:

    the bridge will make such a difference to safety. Excellent work NZTA.

  3. Ngaire says:

    Hi Jon. A friend losing her sight to macular degeneration decided to try the rail service from New Lynn to Britomart. The wide gaps between the train and platform at both stations so terrified her she was nearly in tears and vows she will never ride a train again! I too noticed that while Onehunga is fine, Newmarket and Britomart do have rather a wide gap. Are there any plans to fix them?

  4. Matt L says:

    Ngaire - When the new electric trains come on board in a few years time they will have at least one low floor section that will be the same height as the platform to allow for easy boarding.

  5. AKT says:

    @Ngaire I am sorry to say not at this stage. It is definitely an important issue that does need resolving as Matt L has indicated will in time.

  6. karl says:

    “one low floor section that will be the same height as the platform to allow for easy boarding.”

    Same height does not mean “no gap”, though…

  7. Matt L says:

    karl - The gap is mainly a vertical one rather than a horizontal one, if the platforms were at door height the horizontal gap would only be very small.

  8. [...] in Auckland Cycling Featured Motorways by AKT — December 1, 2010 at 7:23 am | 7 comments [...]


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