After a lengthy delay the Jacobs Ladder Bridge over SH1 near the Auckland Harbour Bridge finally opened late last year – with Nikki Kaye, Auckland Central MP, cuting the ribbon on 15th December. Paul Shortland attended the opening for us, and gives us the facts & feelings:
The Bridge provides a crossing over no less than 10 traffic lanes, connecting St Mary’s Bay to Westhaven Drive. It was built as part of the community improvements arising from the $340m Victoria Park Tunnel Project. Locals love the improved staircase up to St Marys Bay and a new walkway, with transparent noise baffling panels that actually work, running beside the Motorway from Pt Erin.
Bike access on the landward side is off Beaumont St and up a gentle ramp next to the Victory Church. There’s a lift on the seaward side which can comfortably fit two bikes and riders. What I like is the generous width of the bridge deck and approach ramp reducing the likelihood of conflict between users. Ultimately it will provide a useful connection to planned Waterfront Auckland shared pathway [especially once we get a ramp on the northern side as well – the editor]. What irks me though is there’s absolutely no way-finding signage whatsoever until this is rectified it will remain a local secret.
A stunning piece of work it already is, certainly. Some more tweaks, and cyclists will be able to use it much more efficiently to connect to the future waterfront promenade going past below.
Right now, St Marys Bay residents are reputedly a bit concerned about cyclists using “their” paths along the motorway. But with increasing cycling taking hold among all suburbs, we are sure they will eventually realise that cycleways really are a boon to any area.