New Panmure Bridge For Busway


Auckland Transport is planning to build a new Panmure Bridge for a future busway and a shared cycle/pedestrian path.

The proposed new bridge would be built on the northern side of the current one, which would remain open to provide the same number of lanes for general traffic.

It is one of the AMETI transport projects, which are aimed at dealing with congestion problems in the eastern suburbs to unlock the economic potential of the area. A strong focus is on giving people more transport choices by improving public transport, cycling and walking facilities.

The new Panmure Bridge would have two busway lanes for the planned busway between Panmure, Pakuranga and Botany. It would also have a 4.3m wide shared cycle and pedestrian path, which would be separated by barriers from the busway.

All other vehicles would continue to use the current bridge.

Image of proposed new Panmure Bridge

Construction recently began on the first AMETI Panmure project, realigning Mountain Rd and replacing the bridge over the rail line

Auckland Transport Major Projects Manager Rick Walden says a new Panmure Bridge is being proposed because the existing bridge has no room for the future busway.

“The planned urban busway would run between Panmure Station, Pakuranga and Botany. To provide frequent services there needs to be dedicated lanes so buses aren’t caught in other traffic.

“Panmure Bridge is also the only place for people in the area to walk or cycle across the Tamaki River. At the moment it is unpleasant to walk and there no dedicated cycle facilities.

“A new cycle and pedestrian path would improve safety, as well as encourage more people to walk or cycle between Panmure and Pakuranga.”

New Panmure Bridge for a future busway and a shared cycle/pedestrian path

The start of construction is dependent on consent and funding approvals. Auckland Transport is aiming to submit planning applications for the new bridge in mid to late 2012.

The NZ Transport Agency is a major funder of AMETI.

As part of the upgrades, Panmure train station will see improvements. It will become easier and quicker to transfer from bus and rail – presently a 9 minute walk. A new exchange will reduce the walk time to one minute.

The station has seen huge growth. Prior to 2003 it was used by less than 100 passengers a day.In 2010 this grew to 800 a day. The AT forecast is for 7000 by 2026.

Footnote: The AMETI plans do include provision for a future third rail line. Although this will be a decision for Kiwirail, the new bridges that will be built at Mountain Rd and Ellerslie Panmure Highway are designed to allow for that as well as electrification.




  1. ingolfson says:

    Like the bridge concepts. Should work well for buses, and also for peds and cyclists, especially if they emphasise the ability to cross underneath Panmure Bridge on the eastern side (already exists, but few know it) so people can get themselves on the correct side of what will be an even wider Pakuranga Road / Lagoon Drive.

    Sadly, the bridge is now pushed back to somewhere in the 2014-216 range. Not exactly that soon - though it may have to do with the fact that NZTA is being particularly miserly with funding at the moment, seeing the governent’s overall direction and their own cash flow issues.

    PS: Interesting to hear about the third rail. So some thought has gone into that. Can’t see it being on the eastern side though (box tunnel for the AMETI link road), so any third rail would be to the west, underneath the new local bus interchange instead. Not impossible to build, but oh, come the day we will still wish we had it done now.

  2. Simon C says:

    Most important part of the story is the footnote. I was going to ask the Q about future proofing for rail if nothing had been included in the story.

  3. Jon C says:

    @Simon C Hahaha. Saved the best for last. It was inevitable there would be a million questions about it.

  4. Anthony says:

    It may be a while, but the fact that they are thinking of building a busway bridge with ped/cyc access makes me very happy.

  5. Kegan says:

    “Can’t see it being on the eastern side though (box tunnel for the AMETI link road), so any third rail would be to the west, underneath the new local bus interchange instead.”

    The link road is on the western side under the local buses. Third track would be on the eastern side.

  6. Graham says:

    Is the bridge being future-proofed for carrying light rail?

  7. AKT says:

    @Graham Yes see the footnote at the bottom

  8. ingolfson says:

    @Keegan - yes, my bad.

    They tend to show the cross-sections for the box tunnel from the north, which I never noticed until now. Thinking that I was looking from the south, I always assumed the trains were “to the left / west”

    @AKT - I think Graham was asking about Panmure Bridge. I am not sure it is future-proofed for light rail. The busway is an investment that should last a few decades at least, before it will be changed to either heavy or light rail (if ever), so I suspect they aren’t going to do much light rail future-proofing. Not that I think much is needed - light rail isn’t that much heavier than buses, are they? And even in that case, you could block-signal the bridge so that no more than one light rail train is on it at a time, whereas the bridge needs to be built to support a whole several buses stopping on it at the same time.

    Main constraints in turning a busway into a light rail route are turning radii and gradients.

  9. Matt L says:

    What’s the bet there will be loud calls from those out east for T2 vehicles to be allowed to use it, regardless of how many buses use it.

  10. Nick R says:

    @Graham, light rail tramway can be fitted to just about any alignment a bus can run on. Something being ‘future proofed for light rail’ really doesn’t involve much, IMHO it’s a bit of a cop-out they add to any bus or road project where they should be building decent rapid transit in the first place.

  11. DanC says:

    This is so needed now. The traffic is terrible out east. I can’t wait to travel from Botany to Panmure station quickly then onto the CBD by train with timed connections and integrated ticketing. Auckland will step up for my overseas visiting friends. How much is the total cost for a dedicated bus lane from Botany to Panmure station and upgraded Panmure station? Also how bust are the trains running from Panmure to the CBD at rush hour?

    And how much would heavy rail cost on this route?

  12. Ben says:

    @DanC, what time you looking at catching an Eastern Line Train from Panmure to Britomart?


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