Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is preparing to close some lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning ahead of a forecast wind shift that could see gusts of up to 90kph.
Currently there are northerly wind gusts of up to 70 kph in Auckland but the bridge is relatively sheltered. However Metservice is forecasting a wind shift from the north to the west at about 9:30 and this could bring winds of 80-90kph.
“The wind shift could bring a swift change in the strength of the gusts, so as a precaution we will close one southbound lane and two northbound lanes on the bridge until the wind settles,” says Waka Kotahi Senior Journey Manager, Neil Walker.
“If the wind does reach 90kph as forecast, we will close a second southbound lane.”
Metservice is also forecasting a front bringing wind gusts from the west up to 110 kph for a short time from about 10:15AM.
“That could lead to the closure of all lanes on the bridge until the wind settles, ” says Neil Walker.
Motorists, especially drivers of high sided vehicles and motorcycles, are advised to avoid the bridge this morning and use the Western Ring Route on SH16 and SH18.
“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.”
“Waka Kotahi acknowledges the lane closures will cause disruption and inconvenience, but safety is our priority and the lanes closures will be lifted as soon as it is safe to do so.”
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