Bridge congestion explained

Tauranga became a city of two harbour bridges on Wednesday morning with traffic rolling on both bridges, although the change in road layout on the Mount Maunganui causeway caused huge tailbacks.
This was caused by the Mount causeway being chip sealed on Tuesday night and the 30km/h speed limit this morning, says project manager Kevin Reid.

Harbour Link Project manager Kevin Reid.

“It is the same capacity, the same number of lanes, yet has caused a bigger tail back,” says Kevin.
“We’ve made a change to the alignment as you drive round from the Mount onto the causeway. It’s that change and people rubbernecking – that’s what caused it.
“It just shows how much of a knife edge we are on until we get the whole thing open.”
Chip sealing the Mount causeway was the last piece of weather dependent work, says Kevin.
Having it completed means opening both bridges to two lanes of traffic can go ahead as planned over Thursday night.
“By 5am Friday morning we will open up with two lanes in each direction, and the traffic lights at the marina will be switched on.”
The off ramp at Dive Crescent will reopen to traffic after the official opening ceremony there mid-morning.
Kevin says the Mount Maunganui causeway will be resurfaced in hotmix after Christmas or early in 2010. 

Click here to see video of a bridge crossing


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