The NZTA have released a video of what the Nelson St offramp and the New Canada St Bridge will look like when finished soon. It is due to open in December – and as such it’s kind of odd that they’ve released a video when it’s so close to completion.

NelsonStreetCycleway1

NelsonStreetCycleway2

Final piece of ‘soaring cycling sensation’ over Auckland’s Central Motorway Junction is now in place

The last of seven sections of the Canada Street Bridge was lifted into place in the early hours of this morning (Thursday 15 October), completing the 160m long connection from Canada Street to the old Nelson Street off-ramp.

The completion of the new bridge is a significant milestone towards completing the first phase of the Nelson Street Cycleway.

The NZ Transport Agency has released an animated video showing how Phase 1 will look when it’s completed.

The cycleway stretches from Upper Queen Street to Victoria Street and is expected to open in early December; Phase 2 will extend to Quay Street and be open by the middle of 2016.

“The complexity of the curved bridge structure has meant the installation has been a careful and staged process,” says Brett Gliddon, the NZ Transport Agency’s Auckland Highways Manager.

“We’re proud of the architectural excellence this bridge brings to the inner-city network and the standard it’s setting for transport infrastructure.”

The bridge design is already being recognised internationally and has been shortlisted in the World Architecture Awards which will be announced in Singapore next month.

“People have been watching the bridge installation in the middle of the Central Motorway Junction (CMJ) over the last month and we know it’s created a buzz about how we’re delivering our shared vision of making cycling a safe and viable transport option.”

Cyclists are among those who have been watching the project progress and who’re excited about the changing face of cycling infrastructure in Auckland.

“The bridge is a soaring cycling sensation in the midst of Auckland’s motorway maze. We are already claiming it as a creative landmark for ‘The New Auckland,” says Barbara Cuthbert from Cycle Action Auckland.

The 260 tonne bridge was built in sections, which vary in length from 14 to 42 metres. It was fabricated in Hamilton, painted in Pukekohe and transported to the Central Motorway Junction under full motorway night closures.

The cycleway connects with the existing Northwestern Cycleway and Grafton Gully.

ANIMATED VIDEO OF THE CYCLEWAY

An animation showing how Phase 1 of the cycleway will look and feel is now available on our website http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/nelson-street-cycleway/videos/ A timelapse video of the installation of the largest section of the Canada Street Bridge, as well as the factory construction is also online. For those who don’t want to wait until the bridge opens there are great views of the structure from the end of South Street.

The Nelson Street Cycleway is being funded through the Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP). It is being jointly delivered by the Transport Agency, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport. The UCP will accelerate key projects over the next three years and help establish cycling as an integral part of Auckland’s transport network. For more information on the project www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/nelson-street-cycleway/

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29 comments

  1. I’m not knocking it, I’m a fan of the cycleway. However it’s a bit laughable to show so many people on it. I suspect most of the time it will be completely empty.

    1. I think you are knocking it a bit. Most of our roads are pretty empty most of the day too, and this cycleway will stay around for 50 years when we’re still at start of cycle renaissance now. So what if video shows how busy it will be in 5yrs? 😉

        1. My street moves fewer people than Grafton Gully and cost far more to build. Approximately 20 hours a day there is not a single vehicle moving on the road.

      1. But this was never about the numbers. Grafton Gully gets about 250 cyclists a day. If we’re really generous and say that over time this could carry three times that, and assume they’re spread across 12 hours of daylight, that’s about one cyclist per minute. I imagine it takes about a minute to travel over the bridge and off-ramp, so it’s going to be pretty empty. I still think it’s great though.

    2. It will be mostly empty for now because there is not much of a network connected to it yet.

      Given the current attitude of drivers it is virtually unreachable for cyclists living even one block away—think the block between Nelson and Hobson street. Most people will never, ever ride on Cook Street as it is now. Hopefully having such a highly visible cycleway will help change that.

  2. It seems to me they made a slight mistake in leaning the handrails inwards on the new bridge. Firstly it reduces the useable width from 4m to ~3.5m; the perceived width also feels narrower as opposed to leaning outwards (look at the video). It also seems to exacerbate the limited sight distance around the curve as you cycle along it; in the video opposing riders seem to pop out from nowhere relatively late in the piece. A slight outward lean would gain you a little bit more reaction time.
    Despite all that, I can’t wait to give it a go next time I’m in town…

  3. There will be plenty of use by cyclists but the only pedestrians on it will be the ones who’ve walked up from Nelson St thinking it’s a pleasant shortcut to Karangahape Rd. It’s not.
    I particularly enjoyed the pinks seats showing pedestrians taking in the views of the cars whizzing by on the adjacent ramp. I imagine that might get a little creepy during gridlock in rush hour – people don’t like being stared at for long periods of time.

  4. My concern (primarily as a motorist) is the inebriated throwing items over the glass fence onto the motorway. Would have been happier for such sections to have been be fully enclosed. And please don’t say it wont happen, it is a case of when.

  5. This is awesome, and it will be popular. One connected up the network will be the best way to get around the city. Time for more on road bike parking corrals!

    1. Around the city is right, what we are missing are the cycleways *in* the city. Looking at the map in the video (around 1:15) you see that the recently built network basically recreates the motorway network for bikes.

      1. Have you heard of the Urban Cycleways fund? Quaay St, Victoria St and K Road to be done. LRT on Queen St looks to include cyclee lanes too.

  6. Will be awesome when this piece of kit is in place, but not sure what sights those guys are admiring so closely at 1min 23? Fantastic view of a CMJ retaining wall right there. Those seats also look like great ramps for kids to do jumps off. Sure they have thought about that in the design though.

    1. Sort of. There’s a pretty easy climb along East Street from the southern end to K Road (though more for cyclists – it’s a bit of a detour for pedestrians!) and in 2016, there is proposed to be a cycleway along Pitt Street, joining Nelson St Cycleway and K Road from the other direction.

      We (CAA) tried to get them to put in a more direct link from K Road, but there were a variety of issues to that, ranging from height differences to tight side streets. Still hope to convince them to add it at some stage, but sadly not for this decade, it seems.

      1. I don’t understand why they can’t add in a steel stairwell from K’rd dropping down to the ramp. That would improve connectivity for pedestrians — actually I suppose it would have to be a lift, so disabled people can have access too. They built one for the Jacob’s Ladder overbridge down by Westhaven, so why nothing here?

        1. One issue given to us was requirement that the ramp needs to stay open for car traffic in case of a major tunnel disaster, is what we were told. In that case, they might have to temporarily use the off-ramp for vehicles again, so didn’t want any structures on it.

          Doesn’t seem really needed to me. Hopefully after a few years of never needing it, we can quitely drop that “requirement”.

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