The collapse of one half-gantry on Whangaparaoa Road on August 5, which Hibiscus Matters publicised on its Facebook page, was a bit of an eye-watering moment for Graham Townsend who had just driven underneath it.
Graham describes seeing it fall in his rearview mirror. “It tipped over and the steel holding the green arrow pegged into the centre line. I thought it was going to topple sideways, but fortunately it stayed there,” he says.
It was fortunate indeed that no one was right underneath the steel gantry at the time and there was no damage or injuries caused.
The half gantry, which supported directional signs at the top end of the Dynamic Lane near Hibiscus Coast Highway, was promptly removed from the site by Auckland Transport (AT) and put into storage.
The second half gantry, at the Red Beach Road end of the system, has been examined by the manufacturer and was assessed as having no damage.
Worksafe was alerted, but decided that the collapse did not meet its criteria for an investigation.
AT spokesperson Mark Hannan says that AT is therefore “undertaking an independent investigation into the cause of the incident”.
In the interim, the Dynamic Lane is operating as usual.
The lane infrastructure has operated on Whangaparaoa Road since January 24 last year. There was a 12-month trial period, after which the system became permanent. It is designed to improve traffic flow along this section of Whangaparaoa Road in the morning and afternoon peak.
Recently there was a technical failure that saw a section of LED lights towards the Hibiscus Coast Highway end, incorrectly light up during the morning peak period.
Repairing this and subsequent tests resulted in the lanes being out of action during the July school holiday break.