Wynyard Crossing Bridge maintenance

2011 - TBC

  • Wynyard Quarter
  • Ongoing

The Wynyard Crossing is an opening bridge that connects Te Wero Island to Karanga Plaza in Wynyard Quarter.

Eke Panuku continues to manage the maintenance of this critical transport connection.

The Wynyard Crossing Bridge was installed in 2011 as a temporary solution in time for the Rugby World Cup. Through ongoing maintenance, most aspects of the bridge are in good working order, but given its age, regular usage, and being in a harsh marine environment, faults happen from time to time.

 

January 2024 technical issues

Since January 12th, the Wynyard Crossing bridge has been experiencing a range of technical issues mainly within the control system which operates the bridge’s function to raise and lower. Our team has worked around the clock to not only resolve the technical faults, but also to apply various interim measures which mean the impact on pedestrians is reduced as much as possible. At present, we are still waiting for critical replacement parts to arrive from overseas by urgent airfreight. However, our technicians have been able to install a temporary solution which means that there are periods when the bridge is operational without any inconvenience to pedestrians or marine traffic.

We understand the significant impact that these unplanned technical issues are having on pedestrians and businesses. Please bear with us as we do everything possible to mitigate the disruption caused. A comprehensive communications campaign is underway so that pedestrians are made aware that they may need to take the scenic detour or adjust their public transport option if the bridge is unavailable.

 

Why does the bridge remain upright when it is being repaired?

When issues occur, we are required by resource consent to leave the bridge in an upright position to allow free access to marine traffic. We understand that this causes a significant disruption to pedestrians and cyclists, which impact foot traffic for Wynyard Quarter businesses and activities. For this reason, we are now applying a new approach when technical faults occur that makes the bridge accessible to pedestrians as much as possible while maintenance works are undertaken. This approach has meant that there have only been a few days since issues began on Friday 12 January that the bridge has needed to remain upright and inaccessible to pedestrians. See more details about this approach below.

 

What is being done to mitigate technical errors from happening in the future?

  • Planned Preventative Maintenance.

In response to these recent faults, we have significantly re-designed our Planned Preventative Maintenance plan, and in the future we will be doing scheduled works to improve the bridge’s performance and reliability going forward. These works will happen at planned times during off-peak periods, so that the bridge will be much less likely to encounter problems during times of high-demand.

  • A new monitoring system has been installed.

A new computer surveillance system has been installed to monitor the bridge control system, so that when technical faults occur the system can instantly identify exactly what is causing the problem. This will significantly reduce the time it takes to resolve issues, as it eliminates the time needed to check and test what’s wrong.

  • Critical spare parts.

We are creating a stock of spare critical parts, so that any future faults can be repaired more rapidly.

  • Better response times from our specialist contractors.

Eke Panuku have implemented new performance specifications in our contracts with technicians to ensure that any faults that arise in the future will be repaired in an even more urgent manner.

  • A new approach to lessening the impact on pedestrians.

Eke Panuku have identified a new response process to help cause less disruption to pedestrians. Often, a fault occurs on only one side of the bridge. By resource consent we are required to prioritise marine traffic, therefore we keep the bridge upright. Most marine traffic is small enough that they can pass through the bridge safely if only side opens, so in the future when the circumstances make it possible, we will leave the faulty side of the bridge lowered and keep the working side raising and lowering as usual. In the instance when a large boat needs to pass, both sides of the bridge will be manually operated to open and close. This solution is heavily weather dependent however, as when there are high winds this can make it unsafe for marine traffic to pass through a small space.

  • A new protective case for the control system is being installed.

The case protecting the bridge’s control system is subject to a lot of weather damage, and this is being replaced with an improved case that has increased endurance.

 

 

What is the current status of the bridge?

This live camera updates a view of the Wynyard Quarter area (including Wynyard Crossing Bridge) every 15 minutes.

Latest updates

UPDATE – 23.02.24

Overnight, the technical team were able to fix the electrical fault which had occurred early on February 22nd. On this basis, we are planning to operate the bridge with little or no disruption to its normal operations over the coming weekend (Feb 23-25) with support from engineers on hand.

As we have indicated, however, we are still waiting for a number of replacement parts needed to improve the bridge’s endurance and reliability. This means that there may be periods where the bridge has to remain upright, in respect of our resource consent requirements. Thank you for your understanding, and we apologise for the inconvenience caused over the last day.

With an action-packed line up of events starting this evening for the Moana Festival, we look forward to hosting this special event for the first time at Auckland's beautiful waterfront.

UPDATE – 16.02.24

As preparations commence for Auckland's inaugural Moana Festival, on Monday and Tuesday next week (Feb 19-20) the Wynyard Crossing Bridge will need to remain in an upright position (therefore closed to pedestrians) to allow for a barge to construct the Z Manu World Championships platform. We realise this isn't ideal, but as the channel will be narrow, we have to create a safe working environment and ensure access for boats is maintained in line with our resource consent. 

We are also taking the opportunity to do maintenance and install some replacement parts to improve the bridge's reliability. The technicians working on the bridge will also have a chance to further inspect the bridge's equipment, so we have a better understanding of how best to operate the bridge while we wait for the remaining replacement parts to arrive.

The Manu event, which celebrates the beloved Kiwi past-time of dive-bombing, will be happening from 23 – 25 February and 1 – 3 March 2024.  The final will be held on March 9, where the first-ever world champs will be crowned.

This event is just one of many exciting activities happening at the waterfront over the coming month as part of the Moana Festival, which kicks off on Friday 23 February with a live performance by True Bliss. See the full schedule of events for the Moana Festival here.

UPDATE – 01.02.24

The Wynyard Crossing Bridge performed well last weekend for the Red Bull Cliff Diving event and the Auckland International Busker’s Festival at the waterfront. There was little or no disruption to the enthusiastic crowds of spectators that enjoyed these exciting events.

Although the interim measure worked well over the weekend, our teams continue to work hard to resolve the core technical fault. As we wait for the replacement parts to arrive from overseas, there may be unexpected periods when the bridge is unavailable to pedestrians. Technicians are doing everything possible to reduce these moments of disruption. Thank you for your continued understanding as we work with the situation in the least disruptive way possible.

In the coming days, we are implementing a comprehensive communications campaign around the waterfront so that pedestrians are not inconvenienced by the unplanned maintenance issue and are made aware they may need to take the scenic detour route.

UPDATE - 24.01.2024

The new parts required to repair the control system for the Wynyard Crossing Bridge have now been received and installed, however in the past 24 hours an underlying problem with the motor brake system has been identified.

As part of our response to the recent technical errors to improve the bridge’s reliability going forward, in the past few days we installed a new computer system to monitor the bridge’s technical operations. This provides much better visibility of the technical workings of the bridge so that when faults occur we can sooner repair them. This brake failure was identified through this system.

 

What are we doing to repair this?

  • A new motor and drive system have been ordered as a replacement, however because of their size and weight, it will take some time to arrive from overseas. We are doing everything possible to bring them here as soon as possible, including priority airfreight shipping.
  • In the meantime, we have reinstated the hydraulic brake system that Wynyard Crossing Bridge used to operate on before we moved to the new motor system. Over the next few days, we are doing maintenance works and testing to improve the hydraulic system’s reliability as much as possible.

 

Will the bridge be operational for the busy weekend ahead?

This coming weekend (27/28 January) is a busy weekend on Auckland’s beautiful waterfront, with the Red Bull Cliff Diving Finale and the Auckland International Buskers’ Festival. From the results of our tests so far, we believe that the hydraulic brake system will work and there will be little disruption to pedestrians this weekend. However, in the case that a fault does occur, we ask people to take the following measures:

  • Plan a detour in case the bridge is up.
  • Arrive early so that you’re not late to your destination if you need to walk further.
  • Take a different public transport solution that brings you closer to your desired waterfront destination and doesn’t rely on crossing the bridge. See AT.govt.nz for the transport journey planner.
  • Eke Panuku will launch a local communications campaign to inform commuters of the issue and other transport options. We are also investigating what alternative transport solutions we may be able to offer to pedestrians if the bridge encounters any technical issues.

We apologise for these unplanned technical faults and the disruption that this is causing to pedestrians and businesses. We have a dedicated team of professionals working round the clock to lessen the effect on both pedestrians and marine traffic. For example, we have specialists on-site raising and lowering the bridge manually at times to allow for larger boats to pass, to lessen the impact on pedestrians as much as possible. These faults have been unexpected and unplanned, and every possible measure is being taken to restore reliable operations.

 

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