SH16 Bridge Stage Done


The first phase of construction of the Punganui Bridge on SH16 north of Helensville has been completed and has been opened to traffic as a single lane crossing.

The old single-lane bridge beside it will now be demolished so that the second stage of the replacement bridge can be built – providing two lanes of traffic and safer access for walkers and cyclists.

NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland, Tommy Parker, says the $7.2m replacement project is due to be completed by Christmas.

The NZTA is replacing the existing bridge with one that is safer and stronger. When completed, it will be 60.1m long and 13.9m wide (the present bridge is 34.9m long and 7m wide).  The new one has two lanes 3.5m wide, two shoulders 1.5m wide and one footpath 2.2m wide.  Approaches to the new bridge are being widened by approximately 1m on either side.

Mr Parker says the existing bridge, built 75 years ago, is too narrow to adequately handle growing traffic volumes in this section of SH16, and there is poor line of sight.

“This is a safety issue that the new bridge will rectify,” says Mr Parker. “The existing bridge is also vulnerable to flooding and possible rising sea levels, and its replacement is being constructed high enough the minimise these risks.”

“We would like to thank people for their patience and understanding during the first stage of construction of the bridge,” Mr Parker says. “Their support has enabled us to keep this section of SH16 open during construction.  We ask people to continue to drive with care  - they are driving  through a live construction zone and there’s a safety risk for them and workers on the project.”




  1. Jon says:

    And there goes $7,200,000 - nearly half the cost of the entire 3.2 km Onehunga railway line.

    Roads - such a good investment.

  2. karl says:

    Meh, I am not worried about this kind of thing - seems like there’s a lot of things wrong with this bridge, and they are fixing them. It’s not like replacing old, narrow one-lane bridges will create sprawl or induced demand.

    What I really like about all these projects is that they are of pretty high spec these days. On a new bridge, they don’t treat cyclists and peds like dirt anymore either.

  3. Matt L says:

    I agree karl, seems like it needed replacing anyway

  4. BD says:

    I can see the point of upgrading this road to make it safer and more reliable for the road users. What I don’t want to see if growth being encouraged for growth sake just to allow rapid urban sprawl in towns like Warkworth and Wellsford where a proposed highway called “holiday Highway” is proposed. We should be focusing on a major upgrade to the existing highway and railway link to remove more of those heavy dangerous trucks off our highways not by doing the opposite which is to build the highway to increase the number of trucks which I think is pure and simple lunacy!

    We should sack Steven Joyce now and appointment a new minister that has NZ at heart.

  5. Richard says:

    There are many bridges on our highways that are of inadequate width when considering highways don’t only cater for cars and now 44 tonne trucks but the occasional pedestrian and cyclist.

    A disaster of a bridge on Highway One and opened in 1963 is near Warkworth and called the Pohuehue Viaduct. I haven’t cycled north for years but used to regularly. When heading south up the hill you used to have to look back to see if there were any trucks coming at the borttom of the hill then get across as fast as you could.

    Cycle tourists like to go to the Bay of Islands and North Cape and apart from the aforementioned Highway 16 which is little better they are stuck with Highway One, and the trucks.

    We have the fancy bike trail plan in progress which is good but I think for little cost some improvements should be made for our tourists on the highways as well. In the case mentioned a path should be slung over the side of the viaduct for peds and cycles southbound, or, a ;path formed over the old winding road formation by the waterfall which is a far easier gradient for bikes too.

    A survey of State Highway One would find other examples the same which scare both the locals and tourists

  6. Bill says:

    Good that they are devoting the same attention to SH16 in the upper west (with the Punganui Bridge Replacement) that they are to SH1 in parallel on the eastern side.

  7. karl says:

    Sadly, clip-ons are still pretty expensive. As a cycling advocate we hit that snag all the time - compared to the usual costs of cycling works, clip-ons or new bridges are MAJOR money, and thus rarely get done on their own, but only when roading projects occur.

    On a positive note, if they DO occur, cycling usually gets treated much much better these days.


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>