A New Old Mangere Bridge is on its way

 

One of Auckland’s most historic transport connections – the Old Mangere Bridge across the Manukau Harbour – is to be replaced by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and Auckland Council within the next five years. sees this as a perfect opportunity to provide the Onehunga and Mangere Bridge communities with a promenade enabling a wide range of leisure activities, and will be making a submission to this effect.

“The bridge has been a great servant to the Auckland community for almost a century, but the time is now coming when it needs to be replaced with an alternative that is both a higher quality and safer connection for the many thousands of people who rely on it,” says the NZTA’s acting State Highways manager for Auckland and Northland, Steve Mutton.

The bridge – which links the communities of Onehunga and Mangere Bridge – opened 97 years ago, in 1915.  It replaced a wooden, one-way structure and is believed to be the oldest reinforced concrete bridge crossing a harbour in New Zealand. With the opening of a new motorway spanning the Manukau Harbour in 1983, the Old Mangere Bridge was closed to all traffic except walkers and cyclists.  It is also one of Auckland’s most popular fishing locations.

Mr Mutton says when the first round of community consultation is completed, a business case for the bridge replacement will be developed.  A tender to design the replacement and an application for funding to construct it will be made in 2013.

“All going well, construction will start late next year or early in 2014 and the new bridge will be completed in 2015.  Appropriately, the replacement should be ready for a new generation of Aucklanders on the centenary of the opening of the Old Mangere Bridge,” Mr Mutton says.

The Manukau Harbour Restoration Society , supported by numerous local groups, made a submission to the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board’s Strategy Finance Transport CCOs and Infrastructure Committee Meeting of 21 August 2012. The comprehensive submission for scope and use of the new old Mangere Bridge can be seen in pages 8 – 24 of the Board’s minutes.

In response to the submission, the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board noted and supported Manukau Harbour Restoration Society’s preferences for the structure to:
i) Be built as a promenade which reflects it’s muti-purpose use, such as for cycling, walking and fishing;
ii) Be of sufficient height to allow passage of medium sized vessels;
iii) Be able to, in some way, accommodate the passage of larger vessels.

 

Feedback from the public was sought in August & September 2012

Auckland Transport held open days on August 11 & 12, 2012 to get community feedback to help them understand how people use the Old Mangere Bridge now and how they’d  like to use it in the future. This information will help them design the replacement bridge.

We hope Onehunga locals and users of the Old Mangere Bridge took the opportunity to have your say on what you’d like the new bridge to be like. Submissions closed 5pm, Monday 3 September. www.nzta.govt.nz/oldmangerebridge

 

Auckland Transport wanted to hear from locals and people who use Mangere Bridge and asked these questions:

Q.    How often do you use the Old Mangere Bridge?
Q.   What DO YOU LIKE about the Old Mangere Bridge?
Q.   What DON’T YOU LIKE about the Old Mangere Bridge?
Q.   What do you mostly use the bridge for?
Q.   If you could choose one thing that the replacement bridge must have, what would that be?
Q.   Is there anything else you’d like us to know, or consider, in relation to the replacement bridge?

 

New Old Mangere Bridge features

Auckland Transport has  worked with community representatives on some broad design elements.
The planned new bridge will:

• be approximately six metres wide to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and fishing activity
• have safe entry and exit points for cyclists and other users
• include sufficient lighting
• have clear sight lines so people can easily see what is around and in front of them as they cross the bridge
• be in the same general location as the current bridge
• be at a safe distance from the Port of Onehunga
• retain the old bridge’s navigational aids for boats
• allow for boat access underneath it.

The NZ Transport Agency is also mindful that the bridge forms a vital part of the Regional Cycling Network and we are committed to retaining the current walking and cycling connection that the bridge provides. They are also committed to maintaining the bridge’s current access for fishing.

Estimated Project Timeline

Mid to late 2012:   Initial community consultation.
Late 2012:   Business case development.
Early 2013:   Tender for design and funding applications.
Early 2013 – Mid 2013:   Second round of community consultation which includes requesting feedback on the proposed design options.
Late 2013/Early 2014:   Construction begins.
2015:   Replacement bridge completed.

Quick facts about Mangere Bridge

1875 The first Mangere Bridge opened to provide to link between Mangere and the bustling port at Onehunga. This bridge was a narrow wooden one-way bridge that deteriorated quickly and was prone to attack by ship worms.

1915 The second Mangere Bridge (now known as the Old Mangere Bridge) opened, and this time it was built using reinforced concrete. It is believed to be the oldest reinforced concrete bridge crossing a harbour in New Zealand.

1983 With the opening of a new motorway crossing over the Manukau Harbour, the Old Mangere Bridge closed to all traffic except for pedestrians and cyclists.

Auckland Motorways documents the   the construction of the new Mangere Bridge on SH20 , and refers to the old bridge here: “The Mangere Bridge after a very long (and disruptive) construction process was completed in March 1983. It connected the already used Onehunga bypass to the newly completed crossing to create a total section between Neilson Street and Coronation Road of 1.8km at four lanes wide (two in each direction).”

April 2013 – The Manukau Restoration Society have been monitoring the activity at the Mangere Bridge. Check out the clip here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU2knL_bUeM&feature=youtu.be