Morrin Road bridge opens ahead of schedule

03 February 2012 8:08AM

A brand new Morrin Road rail overbridge was opened to vehicles and pedestrians this week, 12 days ahead of schedule, to the delight of neighbouring businesses and motorists.

The bridge provides a vital link from Jellicoe Road to Morrin Road businesses, and gives easy access to the Auckland motorways. It was closed to traffic just after Christmas so that KiwiRail could raise the bridge to allow clearance for overhead wires underneath to power Auckland’s future electric trains.

KiwiRail and its contractor, Downer, worked hard to complete the bridgeworks well before the scheduled re-opening date of 12 February, says Nick French, KiwiRail’s project director.

“We were mindful that the bridge closure had the potential to cause disruption to busy local trade and motorists.

“We were in discussion with local businesses to look at ways to lower the possible impact of our works on road users.

The rebuild was programmed to take place over the Christmas and New Year period to coincide with low patronage on rail network and lower traffic volumes. The rail tracks beneath the bridge were closed to trains  for three weeks, allowing KiwiRail  to carry out an accelerated bridge reconstruction programme, thus reducing the overall project timeframe.

“Despite bad weather during the Christmas network shutdown, our project team made the most of the available time to keep the works on schedule, and also benefited from timely assistance from Auckland Transport and Auckland Council.

The bridge is one of four road bridges and five pedestrian bridges being rebuilt this summer as part of the Auckland electrification project's clearance works.

The rail over-bridges at Mt Wellington Highway and Orakei Road are being demolished and rebuilt in two stages while maintaining two-way traffic. Mt Wellington Highway overbridge works will be complete in early April and Orakei works are on track to be finished by July. Traffic on Orakei Road will be moved across onto the new section of the bridge in mid-March and the remainder of the existing bridge will be demolished over the Easter weekend. Auckland Transport is rebuilding the Mountain Rd bridge as part of its AMETI project.

ENDS

CONTACT: Jenni Austin, Senior Communications Advisor, 021 961 495 or 04 498 2038