The Te Wero Bridge in Auckland, New Zealand, will form an important component of the Western Reclamation project. As part of the first stage of the redevelopment, the eastern section of the Western Reclamation, a 35ha site along Jellicoe Street, will be turned into an entertainment complex similar to areas on the eastern side of the Viaduct Basin.

The project is expected to be completed for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. This eastern area will be linked to the Auckland CBD by the new Te Wero lift/swing bridge, which is expected to cost around NZ$51.2m.

“The bridge is expected to resemble a boat hull and sail.”

The multibillion-dollar development project will include apartments/housing including low cost housing, offices, shops, bars and cafes, as well as integrating existing marine and fishing industries. The project will also include a 4.25ha park projecting out into the Waitemata Harbour.

The bridge design was chosen after an international design competition. The winning design was from Hyder Consulting, Denton Corker Marshall and Kenneth Grubb and Associates. The client for the bridge is Auckland City Council, which is expected to apply for a New Zealand Transport Agency subsidy to help fund the cost. The council will also negotiate a contract with the winning team to complete the detailed design of the bridge.

The design

The bridge will be of a twin leaf bascule design, which will be able to hoist both leaves up towards a 60m (200ft) central mast when required. The full span of the raised leaves is 40m, although the two leaves are not equal length, with the south one being longer and broader for two passenger transport lanes (possibly light rail as well) and the narrower north leaf open for pedestrians and cyclists.

The bridge is expected to resemble a boat hull and sail. The mast structure will house the control room and also the system of counterweights and cables necessary for the lifting. The bridge deck will be constructed from lightweight aluminium and will have low running costs.

One large advantage will also be that the bridge deck can be fabricated using local boat building experience and will need little special equipment. In addition, the materials used for construction will give a robust low maintenance structure with good anti-corrosion properties.