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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 will commence in October 2017 and will be complete in late-2018.

  • Estimated project dates

    Oct 2017–Dec 2018
  • Estimated project cost

    $6 million
  • Project type

    Walking & cycling
  • Project status

    Construction

Project updates

Project update - October 2017
Project updates, (PDF)

Purpose

The Spencer Rd 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 (previously known as the Spencer Road to Albany walking and cycling bridge) 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 December 2018.

Bridge project timeline

October 2017
  • Contractor established on-site
  • Public information day
November 2017
  • Bridge works commence
Mid-2018
  • Shared path works commence
Late 2018
  • Works complete

Progress photos

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

Footbridge works
– c/o the NZ Transport Agency, Northern Corridor project
Delivered by Fulton Hogan/HEB Construction/Jacobs/Opus

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 the Spencer Rd to Albany Walking and Cycling Bridge project?

    The Spencer Rd to Albany Walking and Cycling Bridge project is a $6 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 is the Northern Corridor Improvements (NCI) project?

    The NCI project is a major transport project by the Transport Agency which is currently awaiting statutory approval. Once approved, this $700 million project is expected to start construction next year, 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. (external link)

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  • What benefits could this project provide?

    The Spencer Rd to Albany Walking and Cycling Bridge 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 project team has 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 Graeme 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 will be closed or become construction sites?

    From mid-October, construction sites will be 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 will unfortunately have to be closed for approximately 12-14 months, to allow the works to progress safely. A new temporary driveway will be established into the reserve for construction vehicles off Corinthian Drive.

    On the Pinehill side, the work site will be established within the council-owned motorway verge and open grassed area. However, the construction team will have to add temporary line markings in Spencer Road to provide restricted areas for construction vehicle access.

    The construction team will be talking to residents over the next few weeks to explain what’s happening. 

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

    The construction team are carefully planning their works to avoid disruption to both residents and businesses as much as possible. Nearly all of the works are planned for between the normal construction hours of 7am to 7pm, with work only taking place outside these hours from time to time. 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.

    Newsletters will be published every few months to provide you with an update on progress. We encourage you to sign up to receive the e-newsletter on our project website.

    Drop-in sessions will be held to provide the opportunity for people to find out more and discuss the project with a member of the project team. Community members and local residents are invited to our session:

    Saturday 28 October 2017, 11am to 3pm
    Pinehill School, 2 Hugh Green Drive (Corner of Hugh Green Drive and Spencer Road), Pinehill

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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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