Friday, December 3, 2010

The Boys Are Back In Town

We're baaaaaa-aaaaaack!
It was nice while it lasted!
But from tomorrow (Sat.4th Dec.) cars once again must share the two outside lanes of the Auckland Harbour Bridge with trucks.
It's been great to have some truck-free lanes on "The Coathanger": the traffic has flowed more freely and motorists have surely felt less intimidated than when boxed in beside a big rig.
The restrictions on heavy vehicles using the extreme left-hand lanes north- and south-bound are being lifted, because the NZTA’s 2½ year strengthening of the "Nippon Clip-ons" is complete: well done! The restrictions helped to reduce vibrations and keep the bridge stable during precision welding inside the box girders.
By keeping freight trucks off the "clip-ons", the work was able to be done at night with little disruption to the nearly 170,000 commuters who rely on the bridge daily.
Still to come over the festive holiday break is the annual reseal, which is done at Christmas when traffic volumes are lighter. Hmmm, wonder why they didn't do that at the end of the strengthening work, and kill two birds with one stone?
NB: Readers outside Auckland may wonder: what's with the "Nippon Clip-on" business? Well, soon after the Harbour Bridge opened in '59, it became obvious that traffic was far more than planned for. Duuuuuuhhhhh! So less than 10 years later, two extra lanes were "clipped" onto both sides of the bridge. The additions were built by a Japanese firm – hence the "Nippon Clip-on" nickname...

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