Auckland Harbour Bridge to get a road lighting upgrade


The Auckland Harbour Bridge is in for a road lighting upgrade to improve night time visibility and driver safety.

Motorists travelling over the bridge will notice the new lights will be white, are better focussed on the road, and are more effective especially in the rain, says NZ Transport Agency System Manager Wayne Oldfield.

“The current High Pressure Sodium lamps will be replaced with low-energy, Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) lights with excellent light spill control. Viewed from either the North Shore or the city, it will appear as though a dimmer switch has been applied to the bridge as the new lights will be less obtrusive in the night sky.

Work will begin this week to replace the 118 light poles over the outside lane of the bridge clip-ons and along the elevated road sections on the Northcote side of the bridge. Weather permitting, twenty-seven poles are planned to be replaced when the clip-on lanes are closed over the Christmas/New Year holiday period. It could take up to six months to replace all of the poles during regular night-time closures of the clip-on lanes.

The existing poles have been in place since the clip-ons were added to the bridge in 1969.  They’re now nearly 50 years old and approaching the end of their fatigue life due to the vibration they undergo from traffic and wind.

The new poles will be a similar shape to the original 1959 design to reflect the heritage of the bridge. They will have a lower mounting height and a shorter outreach. The poles will be galvanised, rather than painted, and are designed to resist vibration effects.

The new LEDs will also be more robust than the old luminaires, which have been replaced a number of times over the decades. The LEDs use the latest developments in lighting technology, saving over 40% in energy consumption compared to the existing lights but still maintaining NZTA’s requirements, says Mr Oldfield.

The LED street lights come on instantly, last up to six times longer than high pressure sodium lights and are shock and vibration-proof, which makes them ideal for exposed locations like the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

They contain no harmful substances, provide better colour differentiation and visual adaption which supports safe night-time driving.

The reduced visual impact of the bridge lights will also benefit the regular Vector Lights displays, with reduced light spill from the bridge lights minimising the “wash out” to the Vector display, which itself is driven by thousands of LEDs attached to the bridge structure.

For more on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, see

The photo  shows the bridge as it is currently lit with sodium lights

The photo shows the bridge as it is currently lit with sodium lights

This photo shows the bridge as it is currently lit with sodium lights

This photo is an artist's impression of how the bridge will be lit with the new LEDs

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