Manukau bridge's official opening on Sunday

17:00, Jul 22 2010

The second Manukau harbour bridge gets a test run on Sunday – by politicians and pedestrians.

Prime Minister John Key will officially open the $230 million bridge with Transport Minister Steven Joyce, Manukau mayor Len Brown and Auckland city mayor John Banks.

Locals are then invited to inspect the new bridge on foot and learn about its construction.

The bridge walk open day includes a chance to inspect the machinery, technical lectures, entertainment and refreshments.

It's a thank you to the Mangere and Onehunga communities from the Manukau Harbour Crossing Alliance for their support over the past two years of construction.

The first southbound lanes on the new bridge are expected to open for traffic within a week. The second harbour crossing should be completed by August 31, doubling capacity on the southwestern motorway between Onehunga and Mangere. It includes four lanes of traffic and a bus shoulder lane southbound on the new bridge, the same number of northbound lanes on the existing bridge, and provision for rail.

The motorway at each end is being widened to three lanes and improvements made for pedestrians and cyclists.

Sunday's open day runs from 10am to 2pm. Walkers can get on to the bridge from 10am to 1.30pm via the Waterfront Rd Reserve site office in Mangere Bridge. Cyclists will be allowed on from 2.30pm to 3pm.

Visit www.nzta.govt.nz or phone 0800-7420-649 for more information.

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