This week marked the Auckland Harbour Bridge’s Birthday – here are some facts about it and its construction.
- The Auckland Harbour Bridge was opened on 30th of May 1959 and it took over 200 workers around four years to build.
- It was made with 6500 tonnes of concrete and nearly 6000 tonnes of steel.
- When the bridge was first built it only had four lanes but after a few years they needed to make the bridge bigger to cope with all the traffic so they added two lanes to each side. The new lanes were nicknamed the “Nippon clip-ons” because they were made in Japan, shipped to New Zealand on huge ships and then clipped into place with huge steel pins and rods.
- The Auckland Harbour Bridge cost 16 million dollars to build and the clip-ons were another $13.5 million.
- They decided to build a harbour bridge because the traffic wanting to go from Auckland City to the North Shore or vice versa was growing all the time and the trip round the harbour through West Auckland used to take hours.
- Before the bridge was built vehicles and passengers also used ferries to get from one side to the other or drive around via West Auckland, which took hours.
- The span between the water and the bridge is about 15 stories high – high enough for most yachts to sail under but not high enough for many of the cruise ships, tankers and cargo ships that come into the Auckland Wharfs
- The bridge is 1,021 meters long (nearly 10 rugby fields long or three Sky Towers lying sideways)
- The bridge arch isn’t in the middle because it was designed to be over the deepest part of the water. This was preparation for big ships coming through.