Powerful Lobby Group Pushes Govt. For 2nd Bridge, Not A Tunnel - Opens 2015


car bridgeA powerful lobby group is in the government’s ear for a decision by Christmas on building a second harbour bridge - not a tunnel.

Former Auckland councillor Richard Simpson, who confirmed the plan, says  a bridge would “carry more cars and trucks, while providing for rail, cyclists and pedestrians.

“We see it as the best option in economic, environmental, and social terms.”

His group consists of a number of well known local companies, including NZ Steel, Mainzeal, Aspec Properties, Davis Langdon, and Jasmax. It has been endorsed by organisations such as the Returned Services’ Association, the Heavy Engineering Research Association and Heart of the City, and says it’s had guidance on financial and technical matters from leading international consulting firms.

The RSA endorsement is because the hook is for the bridge to be constructed by 2015, to commemorate the ANZAC Day centenary and be known as the ANZAC centenary bridge.

Mr Simpson says the group is “committed to promoting a solution to the Waitemata Harbour crossing debate that addresses Auckland’s transport needs, celebrates the city’s natural and cultural heritage, and elevates its standing on the world stage.”

A new bridge can deliver such a solution, the group maintains, and can do so “more cost-effectively than a tunnel or any other alternative.”

The group expects transport minister Steven Joyce will make a call on a bridge or tunnel option within the next six weeks or so.

His group has already had “encouraging informal discussion” with Mr Joyce as well as the Prime Minister, some Auckland MPs, and Government officials. It interpreted from those discussions that the Government would give “equal consideration to a bridge as to a tunnel “when it came time to decide.

He won’t release publicly any costings and technical details for a new Auckland Harbour Bridge until December 3 - close to when a government decision is expected. Those details will be “part of a wide-ranging feasibility analysis.” A website would also be launched.




  1. Cam says:

    2015? That would be fantastic. Sounds like this idea may have legs.

    It will be interesting to see what happens.

  2. Jeremy Harris says:

    I prefer it if they built a 12 lane bridge with rail and active mode access next to the existing one and similar in appearance and then pulled the old one down… It would cost a fraction of the tunnel option…

    Lets bury the 1959 mistake once and for all…

  3. Su Yin says:

    You may be interested to read this interview with Richard Simpson. He’s got some pretty good radical ideas—just unfortunate that he’s not a councilor anymore

  4. Jon C says:

    Thanks Su. Love the magazine.

  5. Rationale says:

    I would think that if a 2nd harbour crossing was open by 2015 it would be a rush job and a huge mistake.
    Personally I’d prefer the 2nd harbour crossing to be for heavy rail as well as road. I’d also like the motorway as and when extended north, to have landed designated next to it for heavy rail; perhaps one day reaching Marsden Point and through to Whangarei. This would have trains running straight and hard - compared to the old circuitous route “up the middle”. This is the long term solution, let’s leave the short term “solutions” of the past, where they belong, in the past.

  6. Cambennett says:

    Rationale - They mention in this article that the bridge would be built to carry rail.

  7. Joshua says:

    The bridge looks good, unfortunately there seems to be cost that are not accounted for as of yet and also would mean that you have to pull down an Auckland icon. Tunnel looking more perferable at this stage but lets wait until end of October when full details are released.

  8. George Darroch says:

    Consents alone would take years.

    I fear that this project would destroy the rail loop. The money will be spent here, and we’d get the promise of rail sometime before 2050.

  9. Joshua says:

    It wouldn’t work having a rail crossing and no rail loop as the rail would have to link into the loop it’self, infact it may help turn britomart into a through station. However I do fear the same as they may leave the rail out and instead leave provision for rail. (Manukau Harbour Crossing comes to mind)

  10. Rationale says:

    Cambennet - with the gradient of a bridge to clear ships, I wouldn’t expect this to be user friendly to big trains but fine for light rail.

    These people expect a decision from Mr Joyce soon, I think it’s the least of his worries; earliest will be next election campaign perhaps?

  11. Louis says:

    Jeremy 12 lanes are not needed if there are rail lines with trains every 5 minutes

  12. Jeremy Harris says:

    Future proofing my old bean…


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