Harbour Bridge damage expected to have knock-on effect for Auckland traffic as working week looms

On the eve of the working week there are major concerns over the expected widespread disruption sparked by the damage on Auckland's Harbour Bridge.

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Hundreds of thousands of people have been urged to avoid travel or use public transport. Source: 1 NEWS

With hundreds of thousands of people urged to avoid travel or use public transport, the closure of four lanes will have a significant knock-on effect on the city's road network.

Freight transporters, couriers and other businesses are also facing big delays after a 23-metre steel strut was damaged on Friday after two trucks tipped over amid 127/hr wind gusts.

The Transport Agency has nine engineers working on the complex task of removing and replacing the damaged strut - an essential load-bearing part of the bridge's structure.

“The real challenge at the moment is getting the design right so we have to design it make sure that it's all going to work, then we have to get those designs peer reviewed by independent people, so that's why it's going to take a bit of time to do all that," says Brett Gliddon of New Zealand Transport Agency.

Damaged Harbour Bridge causes traffic headache for Auckland motorists

Aucklanders are now being asked to work from home or make alternative travel plans as repairs mean more than a month of serious disruption with only four of the bridge’s eight lanes operating. 

Auckland Transport also says there's plenty of room for those travelling to and from the shore on public transport. 

"The available bus capacity and available ferry capacity means that we are confident of handling the extra demand from people wanting to transfer to public transport this week,” Auckland Transport’s Shane Ellison says.

It’s another setback too for Auckland's CBD, not yet up to speed from the latest lockdown and estimating losses of $1 million a day.

“It represents about 20 per cent of the GDP of the entire region and these are cumulative impacts and will have an impact on jobs," says Heart of the City's Viv Beck.