This week I was called by a producer on Seven Sharp asking if I wanted to come on to talk about the harbour bridge closures. There had been media earlier in the week that Waka Kotahi were being too risk averse, and the thrust of the show was “are we getting a bit precious with all the closures?”
Given the pain that bridge closures cause truck operators (and everyone else) driving in and through Auckland, I would have loved to have jumped on that band-wagon. But in a case of excellent timing, last week I was briefed by Waka Kotahi on the exact risk parameters they base their decisions on. The fact is, we are one case of a truck being blown onto the wrong part of the bridge structure and it will be closed for months. We simply cannot take the risk.
Instead I talked about how we find ourselves living in a cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t build roading infrastructure resilience in time, and a changing climate catches up with you. The numbers don’t lie – we are seeing those 90km/h winds that close the bridge more frequently than we used to.
Hence why NRC continues to call for a 50-year roading infrastructure plan. Closing the harbour bridge isn’t just an Auckland problem, it is a crisis that affects the whole country. We need to start work on second crossing now, not wait until 2025.
For those of you with a TVNZ+ login you can watch the clip here.
Have a great weekend, and stay safe.