• May 22, 2019
The SkyPath would offer commuters the chance to stop and enjoy the views from the bridge. Photo: NZTA
New Zealand Transport Authority announced a new design for the proposed 'SkyPath' walk and cycleway across the Auckland Harbour Bridge today.
This comes following a dispute between the NZTA and the SkyPath Trust, who have accused NZTA of deliberately delaying the project and appropriating their intellectual property.
The new design announced today is quite different from the SkyPath Trust's design, with the cycleway sitting on the surface of the bridge rather than nestled below it.
The SkyPath is being made to alleviate traffic congestion issues on the bridge, which Mayor Phil Goff has welcomed with open arms.
"Being able to walk and bike between the North Shore and the city centre for the first time will be exciting and transformative for the city," he said in a statement.
NZTA assured Auckland commuters in a press release that the number of pedestrians and cyclists on the walkway will not be restricted due to the certainty of safety and security of the designs.
The pathway will be attached to the bridge piers rather than through a 'clip-on' method, erasing any weight concerns.
North Shore ward councillor Chris Darby said in a statement he was relieved to finally see a project date set, with construction planned for 2020.
"It's been 12 long years for me, steering this project towards fruition, so I'm relieved to see genuine progress being made.
"The walking and cycleway over the Harbour Bridge will be a beacon for biking, a call to Aucklanders to get active and get connected. It will be a 'what took you so long' success story."
The five-metre-wide path on the southbound side of the bridge would provide a direct link between Westhaven and Northcote Point, further offering the connection for the future 'SeaPath' route.
The pathway would also include various viewing galleries to enjoy the view of the harbour without holding up travel of others.
The SkyPath Trust had previously organised a protest encouraging people to show support for the SkyPath by walking and cycling across the bridge on May 26.
However, NZTA has not approved pedestrian access, and police said any pedestrian access to the bridge will be unlawful. It is unclear if this protest will still go ahead.