A new $38 million walking and cycleway over the Manukau Harbour will officially open on Saturday.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency gave Local Democracy Reporting a guided tour of the bridge ahead of its public debut.
The bridge provides a new link between Onehunga and Māngere and has been named Ngā Hau Māngere by mana whenua, which means the “gentle lazy winds”.
A Waka Kotahi spokeswoman said it’s great to see the project complete after more than two years of hard work.
“It really looks brilliant and hopefully the community loves it as well and takes it to heart. It’s going to be a real community asset.”
The Old Māngere Bridge, which connected the two suburbs for over 100 years, closed for good in late 2018 due to safety concerns.
Work on the new bridge started in 2019. It was originally expected to cost $16m, but the projected price tag grew to $38m before construction started.
The works were delayed by Covid-19 and ground to a halt during the alert level 4 lockdown in 2020.
The official opening will happen between midday and 2pm on Saturday.
Auckland Manukau ward councillor and Māngere Bridge resident Alf Filipaina plans to attend this weekend’s unveiling. He said Ngā Hau Māngere will be a welcome addition to the area.
“The old bridge was so dangerous for the community,” Filipaina said.
He said the new crossing will cater to the people of Māngere and Onehunga, an area which is expected to grow in the future with plans by Eke Panuku to redevelop the nearby wharves.
“So I think it’s great,” he said.
He said while the nearby SH20 motorway bridge includes an underpass for cyclists and pedestrians, safety concerns had been raised.
The new link includes lighting and CCTV cameras for added security.