Access to the Parnell Baths on Auckland's waterfront will be restricted through summer, while its footbridge link to Tamaki Drive is replaced at a cost of $3.5 million.

Auckland Council and the Waitemata Local Board yesterday unveiled a design for what they promise will be a striking new bridge from Pt Resolution to the waterfront.

Its design will feature rippling water (puungarungaru) patterns to acknowledge Pt Resolution's significance to local iwi.

The project follows an engineer's recommendation that both sections of the existing bridge, which spans the main trunk railway line as well as Tamaki Drive and was closed temporarily in March for interim repairs, needed urgent replacement for safety reasons.


Despite the repairs, steel corrosion is such that the bridge - part of which is 85 years old - was judged safe for only six more months.

Board chairman Shale Chambers said the replacement would be a simple but elegant structure, enhanced by the renewal of an adjoining walkway to the pool and steps down from St Stephens Ave in Parnell at an additional cost, yet to be confirmed, against his board's budget.

He apologised to users of the bridge for having to close the existing structure from tomorrow until next March.

The main access to the pool will continue to be via Judges Bay Rd, although pedestrians will still be able to use the steps from St Stephens Ave to reach it during early stages of the project.