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Spencer bridge 1

Tirohanga Whānui (Spencer Road to Albany walking and cycling bridge)

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Project introduction

People walking and cycling will soon be able to enjoy a new safe, off-road route to cross the Northern Motorway (SH1) from Spencer Rd, Pinehill in the East Coast Bays right into the heart of the Albany metro centre. Construction commenced in October 2017 and will be completed early 2019.

  • Estimated project dates

    Oct 2017–Feb 2019
  • Estimated project cost

    $10 million
  • Project type

    Walking & cycling
  • Project status

    Construction

Project updates

Purpose

Tirohanga Whānui (previously known as the Spencer Road to Albany walking and cycling bridge)  is a part of the wider Northern Corridor Improvements project, that will provide better links for Northern Motorway (SH1) travellers in Auckland and improve transport options on the North Shore for freight, cars, pedestrians and cyclists.

Benefits

Tirohanga Whānui contributes to Auckland’s wider walking and cycling network and will improve traffic flow in the area and provide people with a healthy, environmentally friendly way to commute to and from work. The bridge provides an alternative to driving and more than 200 pedestrians and cyclists are predicted to use the bridge every day.  Its location will also allow Watercare to bring a new watermain pipe over SH1 in a clever, cost-efficient way. The watermain will be suspended under the deck of the bridge, and will form part of a larger upcoming project by Watercare that will help to address growing local demand from population growth.

Overview

Construction of a spectacular new walking and cycling bridge with a distinct design inspired by the original valleys, ridges and waterways in the area is currently underway. It will span the motorway at the top of the skyline in Albany, crossing from Spencer Road in Pinehill over to the reserve next to Watercare’s Albany Reservoir, off Corinthian Drive.

The bridge is a joint project by Watercare and the NZ Transport Agency, and links back into well-used cycle routes in Pinehill and the East Coast Bays. It will provide the community with an easy crossing point to and from Albany’s local workplaces, retail shops, schools and Massey University and provide an alternative to driving. At one of the highest points in the area, it also offers great views in all directions, including out to Rangitoto Island. Construction of the new bridge and new paths through the reserve and at the end of Spencer Road is scheduled to be complete by early 2019

Bridge project timeline

October 2017
  • Contractor established on-site
  • Public information day
November 2017
  • Bridge works commence
Early 2019
  • Shared path works commence
Early 2019
  • Works complete

Progress photos

Video

The Northern Corridor Improvements project team installed the large, striking red bridge spans over the Northern Motorway back in October. Go behind the scenes to find out when it will open, why it is red and what the pipe underneath is for.

Related information

Find out more about the Auckland Transport walking and cycling programme: https://at.govt.nz/cycling-walking/cycling-walking-programme/(external link)

Contact information

Email: northerncorridor@nzta.govt.nz

Freephone: 0800 NCI PROJ (0800 624 7765)

This website: www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/spencer-bridge(external link)

Frequently asked questions

  • What is Tirohanga Whānui, the Spencer Rd to Albany Walking and Cycling Bridge project?

    Tirohanga Whānui is a $10 million three-metre-wide walking and cycling bridge over SH1 that will connect Spencer Road to Spencer Ridge Reserve and Corinthian Drive. It will provide an important link between East Coast Bays and Pinehill and the Albany metro centre, and will connect into the wider Auckland Transport walking and cycling network. It will provide a safe, off-road route for pedestrians and people on bikes to cross the Northern Motorway (SH1) to connect Albany’s local workplaces, retail shops, schools and Massey University.

    The bridge is a joint project by Watercare and the NZ Transport Agency, its location will also allow Watercare to bring a new watermain pipe over SH1 in a clever, cost-efficient way. The watermain will be suspended under the deck of the bridge, and will form part of a larger upcoming project by Watercare that will help to address growing local demand from population growth.

    In addition to providing an important link between East Coast Bays and Pinehill and the Albany metro centre, the bridge will also form an important connection to the new Shared Use Path planned as part of the upcoming Northern Corridor Improvements project. The Northern Corridor project will construct a 5km-long Shared Use Path for people who walk and cycle.

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  • What benefits could this project provide?

    Tirohanga Whānui contributes to Auckland’s wider walking and cycling network and will improve traffic flow in the area and provide people with a healthy, environmentally friendly way to commute to and from work. The bridge provides an alternative to driving and more than 200 pedestrians and cyclists are predicted to use the bridge every day.

    Located in the reserve next to the Albany Reservoir on Corinthian Drive, the bridge will also provide spectacular views of Albany and Rangitoto Island. Adjoining paths will be constructed and will link to the wider Pinehill/East Coast Bays and Albany metro area walking and cycling path network.

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  • How was the design for the bridge chosen?

    The bridge was designed by Aurecon in collaboration with architects Wells Architects Planners.  The project team also worked closely with iwi representatives on the design. The design of the bridge references the area’s early environmental and cultural history. In the past, local iwi travelled regularly through this area, crossing from the east to the west coast and traversing its many ridges, valleys and creeks/waterways (awa). Later the Albany ridge line became the natural path for the original Spencer Road, which ran all the way from Bush Road and Albany Highway across farm land all the way over to East Coast Road. When SH1 was extended from Greville Road through to Orewa in the 1990s, the new line of the motorway extension had to cut through the farm land and unfortunately severed the two sides of Spencer Road, in effect dissecting the community.

    The new bridge therefore is intended to ‘tie the landscape back together’ and restore the historic track (ara). On the bridge’s base abutments, iwi artist Graham Tipene has created a design of valleys, creeks and rising mist, representing what was once there, and carried the valleys and ridges narrative through to the raranga (traditional weaving pattern) on the handrails. The main body of the ridge will be a deep, dark traditional Māori noble red. The Transport Agency plans to tie the bridge’s design narrative into the wider Northern Corridor project’s urban design.

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  • What areas have closed or become construction sites?

    Construction sites have been established and fenced in both the reserve next to the reservoir, off Corinthian Drive, and the grassed area at the end of the Spencer Road cul-de-sac in Pinehill.

    The current pedestrian footpaths in the reserve are closed to allow the works to progress safely. A new temporary driveway has been established into the reserve for construction vehicles off Corinthian Drive.

    On the Pinehill side, the work site is within the council-owned motorway verge and open grassed area. Temporary line markings have been added in Spencer Road to provide restricted areas for construction vehicle access.

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  • Will the works be noisy or cause traffic disruption for neighbours?

    The construction team carefully planned their works to avoid disruption to both residents and businesses as much as possible. Nearly all of the works have been carried out between the normal construction hours of 7am to 7pm, with work only taking place outside these hours from time to time. The Northern motorway (SH1) will be closed for a series of nights from Sunday 23 September to install the girders.

    Parking disruption will be minimal, and over-sized deliveries will be restricted on Corinthian Drive during business hours.

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  • How will you keep us informed?

    The construction team will communicate all works including expected noise levels and night works in advance to neighbours either in writing or in person. The construction team will also be available on site all the time during the works.

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  • What consideration is being given to environment and heritage?

    As part of the wider NCI project, the Spencer Rd to Albany walking and cycling bridge project is committed to ensuring the protection of dotterels, an endangered shorebird on the North Shore. The NCI project’s ecologists have recorded new nesting pairs and juvenile chicks in the 2016-17 breeding season on sites further down the motorway. The area directly below the Spencer Road bridge is currently one of two areas being monitored for dotterel activity.

    As a result, conditions regarding the protection of dotterels will be included in the project specifications for the bridge’s construction contractors. The ecologists have advised that the contractors should limit exposed earthworks by confining the area of works, applying netting or flat tape to stockpiles, avoiding onsite storage and limiting the period between earthworks and construction. Ecological monitoring of dotterels is taking place once a fortnight and this will increase to once a week when works begin in October. 

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  • What is the Northern Corridor Improvements (NCI) project?

    The NCI project is a major transport project by the Transport Agency. Construction of this $700 million project began in April 2018, and will improve travel times in your area and provide a range of new transport choices, including:

    • a new motorway connection to the Western Ring Route
    • an upgrade of Upper Harbour Highway (SH18) and more lanes on SH1
    • an extension of the Northern Busway to Albany
    • new local road improvements
    • new walking and cycling paths and bridges, including over 5km of Shared Use Paths alongside both SH1 and SH18, and local road connections including the Spencer Rd to Albany Walking and Cycling bridge.

    Visit the NCI project for more information.

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