The last of seven sections of the Canada Street Bridge was lifted into place in the early hours of this morning (Thursday 15 October), completing the 160m long connection from Canada Street to the old Nelson Street off-ramp.
The completion of the new bridge is a significant milestone towards completing the first phase of the Nelson Street Cycleway.
The NZ Transport Agency has released an animated video showing how Phase 1 will look when it’s completed.
The cycleway stretches from Upper Queen Street to Victoria Street and is expected to open in early December; Phase 2 will extend to Quay Street and be open by the middle of 2016.
“The complexity of the curved bridge structure has meant the installation has been a careful and staged process,” says Brett Gliddon, the NZ Transport Agency’s Auckland Highways Manager.
“We’re proud of the architectural excellence this bridge brings to the inner-city network and the standard it’s setting for transport infrastructure.”
The bridge design is already being recognised internationally and has been shortlisted in the World Architecture Awards which will be announced in Singapore next month.
“People have been watching the bridge installation in the middle of the Central Motorway Junction (CMJ) over the last month and we know it’s created a buzz about how we’re delivering our shared vision of making cycling a safe and viable transport option.”
Cyclists are among those who have been watching the project progress and who’re excited about the changing face of cycling infrastructure in Auckland.
“The bridge is a soaring cycling sensation in the midst of Auckland’s motorway maze. We are already claiming it as a creative landmark for ‘The New Auckland,” says Barbara Cuthbert from Cycle Action Auckland.
The 260 tonne bridge was built in sections, which vary in length from 14 to 42 metres. It was fabricated in Hamilton, painted in Pukekohe and transported to the Central Motorway Junction under full motorway night closures.
The cycleway connects with the existing Northwestern Cycleway and Grafton Gully.
An animation showing how Phase 1 of the cycleway will look and feel is now available on our website http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/nelson-street-cycleway/videos/(external link) A timelapse video of the installation of the largest section of the Canada Street Bridge, as well as the factory construction is also online. For those who don’t want to wait until the bridge opens there are great views of the structure from the end of South Street.
The Nelson Street Cycleway is being funded through the Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP). It is being jointly delivered by the Transport Agency, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport. The UCP will accelerate key projects over the next three years and help establish cycling as an integral part of Auckland’s transport network. For more information on the project www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/nelson-street-cycleway/(external link)