In a stunning development, Ports of Auckland, NZTA, Auckland Transport, and Generation Zero have combined forces to announce a second harbour crossing that will not only render SkyPath unnecessary but also solve the Auckland housing crisis.
A massive reclamation project will allow a new bridge to extend across the harbour from Silo Park to Devonport, providing eight lanes of vehicle access and two-way trams (plus Copenhagen-style bike lanes and a greenway for pedestrians) between the city and the North Shore. The bridge will be surmounted by apartment buildings in the style of Florence’s Ponte Vecchio.
“The beauty of this is that it’s not in anybody’s back yard,” said Gen Zero’s Sudhvir Singh. “It’s density done well, with the bonus of water views for all.”
Once the project is completed, the current Auckland Harbour Bridge, an iconic piece of midcentury modern infrastructure, will be given over entirely to bicycles and pedestrians.
The news was greeted with guarded enthusiasm by the Northcote Residents Association, which has fiercely opposed SkyPath in all its forms. “Well, I suppose if we’re going to have an eight-lane motorway in our back yard, then at least it’ll be a quiet one. As long as they oil their bloody brakes,” said a spokesperson for the NRA.
Work on the reclamation will begin today, and the new crossing will be completed “with all deliberate speed”, said the architect of the project, Yoo Kant-Besirius.
The current Harbour Bridge is expected to become 100% bike and pedestrian friendly by April 1, 2020.