There’s been heavy congestion on the Auckland motorway network and local roads this morning as commuters start the working week with the Auckland Harbour Bridge operating at 50 percent capacity.
Four lanes of the bridge’s centre span are closed after two trucks were blown over by 127kph wind gusts on Friday morning, causing significant damage to the bridge’s superstructure.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is urging people to consider working from home if possible or use public transport.
In the morning rush hour there were long queues north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, with SH1 southbound at its worst queueing back to Constellation Drive.
By 10.30am, congestion had eased except for southbound SH1 traffic on the North Shore queueing from Northcote Road to the harbour bridge. At 10.30am it was about five minutes quicker to travel to the city centre via the Western Ring Route.
Meanwhile, Albany Ward Councillor John Watson says there was plenty of room on the 7.30am ferry from Gulf Harbour to the city this morning and plenty of parking at the Hammerhead, although the earlier ferry, at 7am, was busier.
“Similarly there seemed to be good travel times, early on anyway, through the Northern Busway,” he says.
NZTA and Auckland Transport are implementing a bus priority system that will be in place before tonight’s evening peak traffic on State Highway 1 northbound to the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
The priority lane is to reduce congestion for buses to the North Shore and provide more reliable journeys.
This system will allow buses to access the SH1 northbound on-ramp at Fanshawe Street via a new priority lane, allowing buses to bypass the queuing traffic.
The priority lane onto the motorway will then merge with the general state highway traffic.
Drivers need to take extra care and look out for merging buses on their right-hand side.
To improve safety for both bus and motorway traffic at this new bus merge point, the Curran Street northbound on-ramp onto SH1 is closed to all traffic. Motorists who would usually use the Curran Street onramp are advised to follow the sign-posted detour route to the Fanshawe Street northbound on-ramp.
The bus priority lane and Curran Street on-ramp closure will be in place until the Auckland Harbour Bridge is fully operational again, potentially a number of weeks away.