Aucklanders heading to the North Shore this evening may have a smoother run, after two additional lanes on the Harbour Bridge opened this morning.
Overnight, Waka Kotahi NZTA temporarily repaired the strut that was damaged when it was hit by a truck last Friday, allowing for the extra lanes to reopen.
The installation was captured in a timelapse video by the crew, showing seven hours of work condensed into just over one minute.
“We had perfect weather conditions on the Harbour Bridge overnight and so progress was much faster than we had hoped,” says Brett Gliddon of Waka Kotahi NZTA.
A planned closure tonight of the southbound clip-on is no longer needed.
“While this is really good news, even with the temporary strut now in place the bridge is still in a more compromised state than usual and loads on the bridge will need to be managed carefully,” says Gliddon.
No overweight vehicles are currently permitted on the bridge and heavy vehicles are asked to use the Western Ring Route as an alternative until the permanent solution is installed.
The bridge is also still operating at less capacity than usual and NZTA says more people need to change their travel plans to ease congestion.
That includes using public transport, travelling off peak or travelling via the Western Ring Route.
“In this temporary configuration, the bridge is still not fully operational, two lanes remain closed, and motorists should still expect queues and delays crossing the bridge at peak times,” says Gliddon.
Auckland Transport says there has been a big shift to buses and ferries since Monday, but there are still plenty of seats available on regular services. Ferry passengers increased 104 per cent on last Tuesday.
Waka Kotahi says a permanent fix to the bridge is still weeks away from installation.