New $3b Auck. Harbour Bridge Plan Details Released


The group proposing a new Auckland harbour bridge, which commemorates Anzac, has made public its feasibility study providing costings and technical details.


newbridge2The proposal has been presented to the NZTA board. At this week’s NZTA briefing on the problems with the present bridge’s clip-ons, the NZTA was non-committal about the Anzac proposal but said it was in the mix. NZTA  board had opted for a tunnel approach.

Local council officials think transport minister Steven Joyce appears to be wavering for a bridge, especially because of perceived cost benefits.

The group wants a two-tier, multi-modal harbour bridge linking Wynyard Pt to Onewa Rd, replacing the existing bridge.

It considers a suitable initial configuration for the new bridge could be:

  • Ten general traffic lanes
  • potentially two dedicated bus and/or heavy traffic lanes
  • two light rail tracks
  • purpose-built walking and cycling facilities.

bridgenightIt is proposed that the new, 3.3 kilometre-long bridge be built between Onewa Rd on the northern side of the harbour and Wynyard Point on the southern side (adjacent to the proposed tank farm development).

The new bridge would include a two-tiered deck, with general and heavy traffic lanes, space for rail lanes, as well as pedestrian and cycle access. It is likely that the new bridge would use a cable-stayed design, principally due to proven economic and construction advantages.

mapThe relatively long span of the new bridge would enable a softer gradient to support rail services, and would also enable greater clearance for the passage of ships.

The new bridge would replace the existing bridge. Both the existing bridge and the sections of motorway along the St Mary’s Bay and Northcote foreshores would become redundant, and would be removed following completion of the new bridge.

The group wants construction of the new bridge to be under way in time to commemorate  ANZAC Day Centenary celebrations in 2015.

It insists it has been told by “international consulting firms” that such a bridge could be constructed in four years.

bridge3The group’s study says the new bridge would be “less costly” to construct than a tunnel solution, which is currently the leading option, and would offer scope for greater movement of vehicles and people.

“Unlike a tunnel solution, the new bridge would be purpose-built to provide pedestrian and cycle access. The new bridge would also offer wider benefits as a result of tourism, the freeing up of land resources, and significant savings in travel time and distance.”

“The proposed new bridge would be significantly cheaper to construct and maintain than the tunnel/existing bridge combination.

“Estimated construction costs are between $2.5 billion and $3.0 billion,7 compared with the estimated cost of between $3.7 and $4.1 billion for the proposed tunnel option. In addition, international experience shows that the benefit cost ratio outcomes are generally more favourable for bridges than tunnels.

“Once constructed, a bridge’s operating costs are three to five times less than those of a tunnel option, due to savings on ventilation, lighting, drainage, and maintenance.”

Former Auckland councillor Richard Simpson is leading the group, which 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.

  • Funding models suggested include electronic tolling, public-private partnership (PPP), Infrastructure bonds, Special purpose legal vehicle (SPV) – similar to Transpower’s ownership of the HVDC Cook Strait Link or the scrapped regional fuel tax.

Mr Simpson this afternoon described the study as a robust and compelling argument, and an ideal starting point for further analysis as the Government starts to assess new harbour crossing options more seriously.

“A more far-reaching study will clearly be required once the process moves ahead”, said Mr Simpson. “But what this study confirms is that a new bridge must be on the table, and must be given equal consideration.”




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    A no from me, doesn’t use the VPT, no heavy rail and destroys the Wynyard point development…

  2. Joel says:

    I’ve been waiting impatiently for this idea to publicized. I reckon Simpson knows his stuff. A Bridge makes a great symbol for the city. I wonder what kind of view of the harbour you can get from a tunnel? I can’t wait to cycle across the ANZAC bridge.

    Cheers John

  3. cierat says:

    This option is a lot cheaper than a tunnel as well as greatly enhancing the profile of the city. Put in heavy rail instead of light rail but!

  4. Joshua says:

    Cant have heavy rail cause of grade, unfortunately a no from me. Although the bridge does have the advantage of being iconic, it has more disadvantages in functionality. Do the tunnels and tidy up the old bridge, would be ideal to have a combination of a new bridge and tunnel but imagine the cost in that!


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