“Once in a lifetime” bridge opens

In a quirk of fate, the Eastern Busway Bridge over the Tamaki River in East Auckland opened this month on the same day the first bridge across the river opened, 156 years earlier.  The 2021 and 1865 bridges also share considerable ingenuity in their construction.

The first had an ingenious 12 metre swinging span that allowed coastal traders to pass by. The 2021 version was built in four ‘launch’ phases, during which the bridge was cantilevered to meet the next section, driven out over the river on German-built hydraulic jacks and massive rollers, with each movement inching the bridge 250mm forward.

The pile caps were built with a new technique for installing cofferdams. Rather than taking a traditional ‘terrestrial’ perspective, the design team, led by Hugo Jackson, approached the project from the water. They built a boat to act as both the platform and the prefabricated formwork from which to build the piles, with steel hatches in the floor through which the piles were installed. This led to significant gains environmentally, in cost, time, safety and in long-term resilience.

Former Project Director and now Fulton Hogan’s Auckland Regional Manager, James Weller, says even Level 3 Covid restrictions at its opening couldn’t diminish the significance of the Eastern Busway Bridge.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime project, that has involved so many people from the Fulton Hogan family,” James says.

The 205 metre-long bridge comprises two bus lanes, a cycleway and a footpath. It is part of the AMETI Project – a four-phase, eight-year Auckland Transport initiative that will enable the people of East Auckland to commute by train and bus to downtown in less than 50 minutes.

Because of Level 3 Covid restrictions, the new bridge, which lies adjacent to the existing Panmure Bridge, was opened with a karakia that was limited to just nine people. The two bus lanes are initially being used by cars and trucks while rehabilitation work is undertaken on the approaches of the existing vehicle bridge, and a large diameter sewage main is cut over. Practical completion is scheduled for late November.

Project Manager David McGoey says creativity has defined the bridge, from start to finish.

“There’s been so much ingenuity and technical challenge to getting the bridge built – it’s been pretty impressive to see the team complete it, and to be part of it. It’s an intricate part of the overall AMETI programme – we have been using methodologies that haven’t been seen in too many places.”

 

 

 

Copy LinkEmailTwitterLinkedIn

Sign up to get
updates from
Fulton Hogan

SUBSCRIBE

You might also like...

Fulton Hogan’s first hydrogen truck on order

Fulton Hogan’s first hydrogen truck on order

11 November 2021 After pioneering the use of a truck...

Read More
“Once in a lifetime” bridge opens

“Once in a lifetime” bridge opens

In a quirk of fate, the Eastern Busway Bridge over...

Read More
Apple Inc. showcases Fulton Hogan globally

Apple Inc. showcases Fulton Hogan globally

The world’s most valuable company is using Fulton Hogan’s experience...

Read More