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Ask Phoebe: Dilworth overbridge replacement soon

By Phoebe Falconer

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Photo / Paul Estcourt
Photo / Paul Estcourt

What is happening with the Dilworth pedestrian overbridge south of the Newmarket viaduct? Some work was done on it in 2010 when the temporary support was put in to hold it while the motorway was realigned. According to the motorway project timeline (here) this was supposed to be completed in 2010 but here we are two years later and we still have a misaligned motorway with a 70km/h speed limit because of it. The misaligned 70km/h section here causes a daily bottleneck of the traffic going north. Robert Conochie, Auckland.

Original plans to retain the Dilworth pedestrian overbridge have changed, and the NZ Transport Agency says it will now be replaced. The new structure will be higher to provide a safe 6m clearance above the traffic lanes.

It will span the full width of the Southern Motorway without the need for a central support like the existing structure, and traffic lanes will be realigned.

The NZTA is planning to lift the main arch of the new overbridge into place late next month, in an operation that could cause some disruption to traffic.

There are several safety reasons for the speed restrictions remaining on the viaduct. Traffic lanes in both directions are only 3.1m wide instead of the usual 3.5m, and work to remove the last section of the old viaduct continues beside the new northbound lanes.

The 70km/h restriction will remain until late this year when all the lanes are widened and resurfaced, and the last of the old viaduct has gone.

It should also be noted that the website quoted by Mr Conochie is not the official Transport Agency site, and the agency takes no responsibility for its content.

Driving up to the harbour bridge in either direction, in the morning and evenings, I have noticed the orange overhead speed signs displaying 70km/h when the speed limit on the motorway at those points is 80km/h. Some drivers see those signs and drive at 70. Why the inconsistency in the posted speed limits? Should they not be saying the same thing? Jason Rowe, Mangere Bridge.

The posted and legally enforceable speed limit is 80km/h. The Transport Agency says different speeds displayed in the orange overhead gantries are advisory only - a safety warning for drivers so that they can alter their speed because of an issue on the motorway ahead - for example, a crash or congestion. These speeds are not legally enforceable.

I often drive along Owens Rd in Epsom, and have noticed a sculpture on the southern slope of Maungawhau/Mt Eden. What does it depict, and what is its significance? Bill Davidson, Mt Eden.

This sculpture, or pou, marks the pathway connecting Maungawhau with a sacred site at PouHawaiki, about 200m south of the pou. The ancient trail also has connections with Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) and the Manukau Harbour. The crater of Maungawhau was an important part of the lives of early Maori settlers in the area, and the pou was erected by descendants of these people. It was created by Auckland sculptor Carin Wilson, in conjunction with Studio Pasifika.

- NZ Herald

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