Built to provide greater access to facilities, the Westgate bridge crosses State Highway 16 and connects the Manutewhau Walk Reserve in Oreil Avenue to the Westgate Shopping Centre.
1 February 2013
The Bridge is now open
The Westgate Pedestrian and Cycling bridge has been officially opened and is now being used by residents.
The contractors, HEB Construction, have been piecing together the new bridge since February 2012. Having looked like a roller coaster in the early stages, the 209 metre-long shared pedestrian and cycle way over the motorway has taken shape.
This new addition to the community will provide safer access to the Westgate Shopping Centre and the emerging community centre in Massey.
The Northwestern Motorway divides east and west Massey and, until now, those on the eastern side have had only limited direct access to the town centre, shopping, schools and community resources. The bridge remedies this and provides a more accessible connection across the motorway for those it caters for.
There were previous instances of children and adults crossing the motorway as an illegal short cut to the shopping centre, putting themselves and motorway users at risk. A schoolboy died after being hit by a vehicle while crossing the motorway in 2004.
Auckland Transport says the bridge will be an important feature of the west Auckland community and as roading space becomes increasingly constrained in Auckland there is a need to acknowledge the right of all to share the road.
Overbridges ensure access and safety for those on foot and cycles, particularly at busy motorways.
As part of the project, the Manutewhau Walk reserve is being revitalised. While some of the trees in the area were in poor condition and have been trimmed, significant new planting has also taken place.
The finished bridge and surrounds will make an attractive visual addition to community amenitites and has incorporated design factors which are both practical and architecturally interesting.
In order to gain the required length, it was necessary to design a curved or ‘wave’ bridge which connects onto the embankment leading to Oriel Avenue. A steel framework supports the structure and also allows for unobstructed views in the reserve.
The last bright yellow spans of the shared path were installed in early December and now sit atop the white piers, nestled amongst the green of the Manutewhau Walk Reserve in West Harbour.
Construction photo gallery
Information and Pictures: courtesy New Zealand Transport Agency