Northern Busway Bridges


Customer: Fletcher Construction

Location: North Auckland, Auckland

Contract type:  Construct Only

Construction Period: 1 years


Transport Solutions New Zealand & Pacific Islands

Fast Facts

  • 12 span viaduct
  • 3 span road bridge
  • 28, 812 manhours
  • 2 months ahead of schedule

The NZ Transport Agency’s (then Transit NZ) Auckland Northern Busway project was New Zealand’s first purpose-built road dedicated to bus passenger transport and forms a key part of Auckland’s rapid transit network. The project was a key initiative toward providing Aucklander’s with a world-class public transport solution and has seen a significant increase in the proportion of trips made by bus across the Harbour Bridge.

McConnell Dowell is proud to have been involved on this significant public transport project through the construction of a new 360 m long viaduct and 85 m long road bridge. Both bridges consist of pre-stressed, pre-cast super tee girders with a cast in-situ composite concrete deck and asphalt wearing surface.

The Challenge

A key challenge was constructing major structures in the middle of Auckland’s North Shore, whilst maintaining existing local traffic flows and services.We worked closely with the designer to simulate bridge construction electronically to proactively identify potential construction issues and mitigate them through our methodology. For example, the use of identical pre-tied tees saved time and money and allowed installation in a single lift, reducing impact on traffic. As the bridges were close to water courses and local residents, stringent environmental controls were also required to control run off and noise pollution.

The Solution

Heavy lifts occurred at night to lower the impact on traffic flow. Additionally, our time-saving bridge construction techniques allowed rapid installation of T girders within the available night-time slots. One useful technique was to work closely with the designer to simulate bridge construction electronically and proactively identify potential construction issues. We also placed staff at manufacturers’ sites to manage and assess the quality of work as it was being completed, thus minimising rework. This avoided potential for rework and non-conformances.

Key to Success

Excellent falsework and formwork designs improved productivity and allowed us to complete the project two months ahead of schedule. Safety of our team was paramount especially working on structures at height and over heavily trafficked roadways. Rigorous reporting of any near misses, first aid incidents, plant damage and environmental issues resulted in a heightened awareness of safety and environmental issues, contributing to an excellent record. A close relationship with Fletcher Construction and wider project partners ensured the overall project objectives were achieved. The client was highly impressed with our stakeholder management and consultation.


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