The period of unsettled and predicted high winds that could have closed lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning has passed without incident.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Senior Journey Manager Neil Walker says the bridge operations team was ready to close some lanes after Metservice forecast a wind shift and a sharp increase in wind gusts up to 90kph.
“Our threshold for closing lanes was the wind gusting to 80 kph. The wind got to 74kph before easing back just after 10AM.”
There was moderate traffic on the bridge at the time.
“Wind gusts up to 90kph would have closed the bridge as we take a conservative approach to the safety of the bridge and our customers at this time, says Neil Walker.
“Metservice says the worst of the morning’s windy weather front has now passed over Auckland, so we’re standing down on lane closures for now.”
Auckland Transport replaced double decker buses with single decker buses for weekend services over the bridge as a safety precaution. Waka Kotahi advice to motorcyclists and drivers of high sided vehicles is to stay off the bridge and use the Western Ring Route on SH16 and SH18.
More unsettled weather with wind gusts up to 75kph is forecast for Monday morning with winds up to 80 kph on Tuesday.
“The Auckland Harbour Bridge is safe for use despite the damage done to the superstructure last Friday. However, it is in a vulnerable state until we complete a permanent repair so we want to do all we can to protect the bridge and the people using it. Safety is our absolute priority.”
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