Waka Kotahi warns Aucklanders to prepare for likely Harbour Bridge closure tomorrow


Aucklanders are being warned that severe winds from tropical Cyclone Dovi are likely to force the full closure of the Harbour Bridge tomorrow, possibly for several hours.

Metservice: Tropical Cyclone Bulletin(external link)

The latest predictions from Metservice show a strong likelihood of wind gusts in excess of 130km/h hitting the bridge between 10am and 4pm on Sunday as southerly gales batter the region.

Waka Kotahi’s current bridge safety protocols require the closure of the bridge to traffic when sustained wind gusts of 90km/h or higher are likely.

Waka Kotahi National Emergency Response Team leader Mark Owen says Waka Kotahi will continue to monitor conditions closely, with maintenance crews on standby to react immediately to close the bridge if wind gusts reach the predicted levels.

“Closing the Harbour Bridge is not a decision we take lightly at all, given the resulting disruption and inconvenience for Aucklanders, but we will not compromise on the safety of road users and we won’t hesitate to close the bridge if conditions are unsafe for it to be used. While a closure may be disruptive, based on the MetService wind predictions it will very likely be necessary.”

Mr Owen says if the bridge is closed, access for travellers through the city will be maintained with the availability of the Western Ring Route, on State Highways 16 and 18. However, Waka Kotahi recommends people limit their travel through this cyclonic weather as there are also likely be be delays on alternative routes, due the increased volume of traffic.

With high winds likely to affect roads throughout the region on Sunday, drivers of high sided vehicles and motorcyclists are encouraged to use extra caution on all roads, and to avoid using the Auckland Harbour Bridge entirely, until the wind subsides.

Auckland Transport also advises that the forecast high winds could cause delays or cancellations to public transport. The best way to keep up to date is to follow the AT Travel Alerts on Twitter @AT_travelalerts(external link) for any changes to services.

Waka Kotahi advises motorists to plan ahead by checking social media or our Journey Planner(external link) before heading out.

Updates will also be provided as the situation unfolds on the Waka Kotahi Twitter(external link) account.

Information on weather warnings and watches is available from Metservice(external link).