Transport infrastructure generally helps to connect our communities with the rest of the city, making life easier. However in some cases, like with motorways and surface rail lines,  it can also sever that connection by making it extremely difficult to get around without a car. Thankfully last week, for one community in the North West, that severance was reduced due to the opening of the Westgate pedestrian and cycle bridge which has taken roughly a year to build. Locals were clearly not keen on the previous option of a detour up to Hobsonville Rd, and many would simply run across the motorway. Sadly, in 2004 a schoolboy was struck and killed by a vehicle attempting this treacherous crossing.

The location of the new bridge is shown below:

Westgate Ped Bridge Location

I went to check it out yesterday – here’s what the finished product looks like from the Western (Westgate) side:

Westgate Ped Bridge 1

On the bridge itself (and it’s wider than it appears in this photo):

Westgate Ped Bridge 2

Due to the the height of the eastern side and the need for accessibility to people with bikes or wheel chairs, the bridge needed to be curved to decrease the gradient. In case anyone is worried, I didn’t find it much of a detour at all and in fact can see local kids (including the adult versions) finding it quite fun to race down on their bikes:

Westgate Ped Bridge 3

Westgate Ped Bridge 4

Looking at the bridge from the Eastern side:

Westgate Ped Bridge 5

Westgate Ped Bridge 6

All up it is a very nice bridge so congratulations to the NZTA and everyone else involved for making this happen.

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10 comments

  1. I too have been observing progress over the last year and think it’s brilliant. All it needs now is a roller coaster attached to those top rails.

    I’ll sure be pleased when the Lincoln Rd interchange is completed; why do civil projects in NZ take so long to complete? (To be fair, the Newmarket Viaduct replacement has been pretty quick considering its scale and complexity).

  2. Matt, how high up is that yellow bar crossing the path? – it’s really hard to tell from the pictures.

    It seems design is not just an afterthought anymore; the bridges, the panels over the live wires etc. Good stuff.

    1. OrangeKiwi – I rode the bridge on my bike, and I am over 2m tall and on the tallest bike I could buy in NZ. And that cross bar is high enough that I didn’t even stop to think of it as I went under. Not a scientific measurement, but god enough in practice.

      I attended the opening as Cycle Action Auckland’s rep – see the writeup here (http://caa.org.nz/auckland-transport/westgate-bridge-now-open/) and got to chat for a moment to the Jasmax designer that we owe the bridge design to. Hope they get a lot more work from AT and NZTA 😉

  3. Nice. All those angles must have made it a real pain to construct. Especially the pre-cast concrete slabs.
    Great to see design used to uplift an area.

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