Auckland motorists warned of strong gusts

Auckland motorists are being urged to take caution on some stretches of motorway as westerly gusts continue to strengthen. 

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said road users needed to take care when crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge and the Southern Motorway's Mangere Bridge spanning Manukau Harbour due to strong winds. 

NZTA highway manager Brett Gliddon said both bridges remained open but the exposed sections of the highway would be hit with strong winds. 

Gust had been averaging about 58 kilometres per hour, with one recorded on the harbour bridge at 74kph, he said. 

Auckland Civil Defence said westerly winds were forecast to be at the strongest between 5pm and 10pm. 

People should increase following distances, especially when motorways were more crowded during this afternoon's peak, Gliddon said. 

A king tide is expected to peak in the Waitemata Harbour about 10.20 tonight, NZTA said. 

The westerly and southwesterly direction of the wind generally meant there was a low risk of flooding on low-lying sections of motorway. 

However, drivers should be aware that wave splash might affect driving in some areas, NZTA said.