The new Tirohanga Whanui bridge over SH1 at Albany is a walking and cycling bridge providing a link to communities, jobs, education and other transport options; the bridge also carries a Watercare water pipe below the bridge deck
Albany’s iconic walking and cycling bridge opens
The newest walking and cycling bridge on Auckland’s North Shore opened at the end of February, giving communities an iconic new connection over the Northern Motorway and directly into Albany.
The striking red Tirohanga Whanui Bridge, which means ‘panoramic view’, reconnects the community between the East Coast Bays and Albany as part of the NZ Transport Agency’s Northern Corridor Improvements project.
NZTA acting senior project delivery manager Karen Boyt says the 110 m bridge enables local residents and schoolchildren to walk and cycle safely between suburbs. “The bridge really opens up the area and gives more choices for people to get to Albany Station and the business area, as well as schools and universities.”
The $10 million bridge incorporates a new water main, installed directly underneath the bridge, to help cater for the growing needs of the area over the next 40 years. It links to a new pump station and existing water reservoir at Corinthian Drive.
Once the pump station opens, it will pump 20 million litres of treated water a day through the water main to a reservoir in Pinehill. This then provides water to North Shore communities.
Watercare chief infrastructure officer Steve Webster says the bridge and water main were built with the future in mind. “The North Shore is growing rapidly and we need to ensure that both transport and water infrastructure are in place to meet that growth. We worked together with NZTA to develop the bridge and water main over the motorway so we could minimise any disruption to the local community.”
NZTA representatives and Watercare members joined councillors, Upper Harbour Local Board members, mana whenua, community members and local schoolchildren to celebrate the opening. A group of keen cyclists also took a first ride across the bridge and tried out the new 3 m shared paths which connect into the community at Spencer Road and Corinthian Drive.
Ms Boyt says the bridge lights up at night, making it a standout feature for people travelling towards the city from the north.
The bridge is part of the work to build over 7 km of walking and cycling paths for the Northern Corridor Improvements project. The project will provide
a much-needed transport upgrade for the whole Albany and North Shore community. It includes a proposed busway station, a new motorway connection between
SH1 and SH18 and will open up access to the Western Ring Route and travel to the airport.