Transport infrastructure generally helps to connect our communities with the rest of the city, making life easier. However in some cases, like with motorways and surface rail lines, it can also sever that connection by making it extremely difficult to get around without a car. Thankfully last week, for one community in the North West, that severance was reduced due to the opening of the Westgate pedestrian and cycle bridge which has taken roughly a year to build. Locals were clearly not keen on the previous option of a detour up to Hobsonville Rd, and many would simply run across the motorway. Sadly, in 2004 a schoolboy was struck and killed by a vehicle attempting this treacherous crossing.
The location of the new bridge is shown below:
I went to check it out yesterday – here’s what the finished product looks like from the Western (Westgate) side:
On the bridge itself (and it’s wider than it appears in this photo):
Due to the the height of the eastern side and the need for accessibility to people with bikes or wheel chairs, the bridge needed to be curved to decrease the gradient. In case anyone is worried, I didn’t find it much of a detour at all and in fact can see local kids (including the adult versions) finding it quite fun to race down on their bikes:
Looking at the bridge from the Eastern side:
All up it is a very nice bridge so congratulations to the NZTA and everyone else involved for making this happen.