FAQ

Do the clip-on’s have enough strength to support a walking & cycling Pathway?

What is the life of the clip-on’s?

What about the next Harbour Crossing?

How long will it take to build the Pathway?

What will it cost?

How will it be funded?

Why should walkers and cyclists pay when motorists don’t?

How do Aucklanders feed about a $2 toll?

Are Aucklanders in support of walking and cycling across the AHB?

Will the majority of the toll be consumed by collection costs?

Is it a priority for the region?

Will the Pathway be part of NZ’s Cycle Trail?

Has this option for a Pathway under the deck been considered previously?

Aren’t the clip-ons too unstable for a Pathway?

Isn’t it too steep to walk or cycle over the Auckland Harbour Bridge?

Will the Pathway affect the flow of traffic across the Bridge?

Why not provide bike racks on the front of buses or stick with the ferry service?

Will the Pathway detract from the existing Bridge Climb and Bungy Jump operation on the Auckland Harbour Bridge?

Why do the total number of concurrent users need to be managed?

Who is the Pathway Working Group?

What official support does the Pathway have?

How much of the toll be consumed by collection costs?

Do the clip-on’s have enough strength to support a walking & cycling Pathway?

Yes, the structural engineers from NZTA and the GetAcross Pathway Working Group have spent many months analysing the various worst case scenarios of heavy truck traffic, crowd loadings on the Pathway and illegally overweight trucks. They have agreed on an engineering solution for a Pathway on the south-bound clip-on that ensures spare capacity even under the most extreme loading scenario.

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What is the life of the clip-on’s?

The clip-on’s have an indefinite life. What is unknown is the volume of future traffic loadings and the growth in ratio of heavy trucks to motor cars. Under a high growth scenario, this may reach the north-bound clip-on’s maximum capacity in 20 years, however NZTA has measures in place to significantly extend this period.

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What about the next Harbour Crossing?

It is unknown at this time when another harbour crossing will be built and in what form. As a future crossing is at least 20 years away, the opportunity exists for the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway to be built during this time, funded by a toll paid by users.

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How long will it take to build the Pathway?

If the project is adopted by Auckland Council, then consultation, consents and final design would be conducted over the next 8 months. Procurement and delivery agreements would require approximately 4 months. Funding and construction would commence in October 2013, with an expected opening of the Pathway in April 2014.

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What will it cost?

Depending on whether the Pathway includes external night lighting and three observation decks, the indicative preliminary cost estimates (including contingencies) are as follows:

Pathway and access ramps $17.8M
Bridge additional strengthening $3.8M
Design review costs $1.6M

Total cost, completed as a tolled facility $23.2M

Additional options:
External night lighting $1.8M
Three observation decks $6.3M

Total: $31.3M

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How will it be funded?

NZTA advises that it is unable to fund the Pathway. Whilst we would of course prefer free access, to fund the Pathway construction, maintenance and operation there will be a toll on its users. Financial contributions may also be available from NZTA, tourism agencies and Auckland Transport.

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Why should walkers and cyclists pay when motorists don’t?

Ideally there would be no toll for walking and cycling access, but the reality is that the Pathway is highly unlikely to happen within the next 25 years without such a toll, as the NZTA do not regard it as a funding priority. Motorists paid a toll to use the Auckland Harbour Bridge for 25 years, from 1959 until 1984.

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How do Aucklanders feel about a $2 toll?

The $2 toll compares favourably with the minimum bus fare of $3.40 (Fanshaw St to Onewa Rd) or ferry ticket price of $4.90 (Britomart to Northcote Point). A recent survey of GetAcross supporters revealed over 85% of respondents in support if that was what is required to get the Pathway built.

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Are Aucklanders in support of walking and cycling across the AHB?

Yes. In November 2007 Y&R commissioned market research to gauge the level of support among Aucklanders for the walkway and cycleway. Very strong support was revealed, with 76% in support, 12% against and 12% unsure.

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Will the majority of the toll be consumed by collection costs?

No, about 6% of the toll will be used to pay for its collection. The rest of the toll will go to debt repayment, maintenance, security, insurance, operations and administration.

The tolling system will be based on technology for collecting public transport fares. It will provide users with a wide range of payment options while minimising the transaction cost.

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Is it a priority for the region?

Yes, the walk/cycleway not only fixes the most significant gap in Auckland’s walking and cycling network, it is a cornerstone project for improving walking and cycling in the Auckland Region (much as Britomart Station was the cornerstone project for reviving Auckland’s rail passenger service).

Auckland has the reputation of being one of the worst cities in the world for walking (page 28, ARTA’s Sustainable Transport Plan 2006-16) and only 1% of Aucklanders regard cycling as ‘always safe’ (ARC’s Community Perceptions Report 2007). The AHB Pathway will be a catalyst for delivery of safe cycling and walking across the Auckland region.

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Will the Pathway be part of NZ’s Cycle Trail?

We applied to be part of the NZ Cycle Trail in 2009 but unfortunately were declined. There may be an opportunity to become a key link in the NZ Cycle Trail in future given their recently announced network expansion.

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Has this option for a Pathway under the deck been considered previously?

Yes, this option was explored by Beca in their Feasibility Report (see the cross-section diagram below) and in the Maunsell Access study in 2007, but was disregarded early as “security was found to be a defining issue”.

However, by tolling the Pathway, a high level of security patrols will be provided to ensure user safety, and the toll itself has some security benefits (e.g. it will reduce the likelihood of loitering).

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Aren’t the clip-ons too unstable for a Pathway?

The clip-ons have recently undergone a major strengthening project, which includes the addition of 900 tonnes of steel at an estimated cost of $86 million. This strengthening will reduce movement of the clip-ons, and specifically provides for walking and cycling access:

“Through innovative thinking, further structural elements have been incorporated into the current strengthening works at relatively low cost to future proof for future walking and cycling options on the box girders [clip-ons].”

May 2008 Board Transit Paper 6189
TransitBdPaper6189.pdf

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Isn’t it too steep to walk or cycle over the Auckland Harbour Bridge?

The gradient of the Bridge is 3 degrees. This is considered a gentle grade and rated ‘Easy’ by the NZ Cycle Trail guidelines.

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Will the Pathway affect the flow of traffic across the Bridge?

No, the shared Pathway is under the traffic deck and does not affect the service life, capacity or configuration of the bridge’s traffic lanes in any way.

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Why not provide bike racks on the front of buses or stick with the ferry service?

Cyclists enjoy cycling for fitness and convenience and don’t want the delays and financial cost of taking a bus or ferry. As a bus fitted with a rack can carry a maximum of 3 bicycles at a time, this option is not appropriate for the estimated demand of 1,580 cyclists per day (Opus ‘Auckland Harbour Bridge Cycle Demand Estimation’ study, July 2008).

Cyclists currently use ferries to cross the harbour. However, with the demand exceeding capacity at peak times, Fullers Ferries support walking and cycling access on the Auckland Harbour Bridge (see Appendix 7).

Furthermore, buses and ferries do not address the lack of walking access across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

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Will the Pathway detract from the existing Bridge Climb and Bungy Jump operation on the Auckland Harbour Bridge?

No, we have been in discussion with Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy, they expect the Pathway will introduce and encourage more people to take the Bridge Climb or Bungy Jump experience.

Why do the total number of concurrent users need to be managed?

Firstly, for health and safety reasons, we cannot allow thousands of people to converge on the Pathway. Secondly, if over the next 20 years, there is high traffic growth then numbers of people of the Pathway can be managed to control the overall loadings on the bridge. If this were to happen, if would affect the peak period of 3 to 4pm weekdays when a lesser number of concurrent users would be allowed on the Pathway.

Will managing the total number of concurrent users affect the viability of the Pathway?

No, the capacity of the Pathway remains far higher than the expected demand.

Most critical period of 3 to 4pm weekdays
(peak period for heavy tracks; southbound)

Maximum number of users equates to an estimated capacity*
In 2011 750 people 3,750 people per hour
In 2031; under
“high-growth traffic”
scenario 500 people 2,500 people per hour

* assumes one third of Pathway users are stationary, one third are walking and one third are cycling. This number will be higher when there is a larger portion of cyclists.

Outside the peak period of 3 to 4pm weekdays, the maximum number of concurrent users is expected to be at least 1,000 people (equates to 5,000 people /hour which is over 60,000 people/day).

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Who is the Pathway Working Group?
A dedicated team of professionals who are committed to delivering a world-class Pathway across the AHB for Auckland:

Project Director: Bevan Woodward
Project Co-ordinator: Kirsten Shouler
Structural engineering consultant: Roger Twiname, Airey Consultants
Design consultant: Barry Copeland, Copeland Associates
Stakeholder liaison: Andy Smith, Walk Auckland
Alex Swney, CEO, Heart of the City
Christine Rose, Trustee, AHB Pathway Trust

Supported by:

Architects
John Dymond, Copeland Associates
Finn Scott, Copeland Associates

Engineering Advisors
Saia Thomas, Airey Consultants
Michael Newby, Holmes Consulting Group

Graphic Design
Luke Williamson, Halcyon Design
Raul Sarrot, Fresh Fish Studio

Communications
Audrey Van Ryn
Kate Thompson
Jon Bridges

Legal Advice
Michael Lloyd, Barrister

Demand Forecasting
Dr Graeme Lindsay, University of Auckland
Andrew Stevenson, Tasman Research

Web site Management
Mark Roberts, Sustainable Business Network
Julian Warren, Bitstream
Liz Quilty, Velofille.com

Market Research
Karin Glucina, Y&R

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What official support does the Pathway have?
The Auckland Council’s transport committee has voted to officially recognise the pathway as a strategically important project and has agreed to write to NZ Transport Agency asking it to consider funding support for the project. In addition, the committee has asked Auckland Transport to identify appropriate resourcing and budget for an Auckland Council contribution for consideration in the half yearly review and the next long term plan. In May, the council’s committee gave clear and strong support for walking and cycling access on the bridge which has enabled the project to quickly move forward. Since then we have been meeting weekly with the NZTA and its bridge consultants and have agreed on a design.

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How much of the toll be consumed by collection costs?

About 6% of the toll will be used to pay for its collection. The rest of the toll will go to debt repayment, maintenance, security, insurance, operations and administration. The tolling system will be based on technology for collecting public transport fares. It will provide users with a wide range of payment options while minimising the transaction cost.

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