Jason Dorday / Stuff
Transport agency Waka Kotahi NZ says a project to build a new $38 million cycle and pedestrian path over Manukau Harbor is on track for completion this year, despite setbacks from Covid-19.
A Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency project to build a new cycle and pedestrian path over Manukau Harbor is still underway and will be completed this year, despite skyrocketing costs and the impact of Covid-19 on its construction.
The 2018 Auckland Regional Land Transport Plan shows the project was originally expected to cost $16 million, but its projected price has since risen to $38 million.
Work on the project was also impacted by Covid-19 and came to an abrupt halt during the Alert Level 4 lockdown in 2020.
But according to Waka Kotahi, the project, which will provide a new link between Onehunga and Māngere, will still be delivered on time and will open to the public in September.
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The Old Māngere Bridge, which connected the two suburbs, was over 100 years old and was permanently closed at the end of 2018 for safety reasons.
Work on the new pedestrian and cycle path began at the end of 2019.
In a statement on the project, Waka Kotahi said it would be a boon for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as the wider community.
“Once opened, the bridge will not only provide an important strategic connection as part of the wider walking and cycling network in Auckland, but will also become a place where whānau and friends can congregate, sit and even enjoy ‘a fishing spot.’
New Zealand Waka Kotahi Transport Agency
A time-lapse video shows progress on the Old Māngere Bridge replacement project.
Waka Kotahi said Manukau Harbor has long been an important source of food for the region and the Old Bridge has been a popular fishing spot for generations.
And during the public consultation for the project, local community residents said they would like this tradition to continue.
Waka Kotahi National Infrastructure Delivery Manager Mark Kinvig said the bridge deck will be 8 meters wide with two fishing bays extending up to 12 meters and benches for people to sit on. sit and enjoy the harbor view.
He said the new cycle and pedestrian path will also feature links to the old bridge it replaces.
“We felt that the bridge is such an important slice of history that it is important to retain some of it, so we have worked with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga on ways to preserve the materials and these will be used in the landscaping around the abutments of the new bridge,” Kinvig said.
The artwork on the bridge, designed in partnership with mana whenua, will reflect the history of the area and the fact that the Ōtāhuhu Portage was an important passage for many waka who passed through the area.
Transport agency Waka Kotahi NZ was approached to comment on the cost of the project.
Regional infrastructure delivery manager Stephen Collett said the project cost estimate was $38 million since construction began in 2019.