Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sunday Bridges:Grafton
Grafton Bridge is a road bridge spanning Grafton Gully in Auckland City, New Zealand. Built of reinforced concrete in 1910, it connects the Auckland CBD with the Grafton suburb. Grafton Bridge spans about 97.6 metres (320 feet), rises 25.6 metres (84 feet) above the abutments and to a height of around 43 metres (142 feet) over the Grafton Gully.

The bridge is on the NZ Historic Places listing and the IPENZ Engineering Heritage Register. In a 2006 poll amongst 600 alumni of the University of Auckland School of Engineering, the bridge placed 3rd on the list of New Zealands' engineering achievements, after the Manapouri Power Station and Black Magic.

The footpaths are covered with an aesthetically curved glass screen, which serves to prevent people from falling or jumping off the bridge as well as providing unobstrusive weather cover (the bridge already had suicide prevention barriers from 1992 to 1996 (and extra safety fencing from as early as 1936), but after the removal, suicide rates on the bridge jumped fivefold, leading to a quiet re-installation in 2002).[4] There have been no suicides from the bridge since then as of 2009, and the feature has been called an example of best practice of preventing such acts

Since 2009, the bridge forms a core part of the Central Connector public transport route between the Auckland CBD and Newmarket, and is closed to private vehicles during daytime hours. New bus-only lanes on Grafton Bridge have helped swell Auckland City Council coffers by $1.7 million since they were introduced in December.

More than 11,000 drivers have been stung for using the bridge between 7am and 7pm, when both lanes of the central city bridge are reserved for buses. There was someone on the bridge taking photos of cars travelling across the bridge.


Ginny Hartzler said...

Goodness, what a story that goes with this bridge! I think that the thwarted suicides probably managed to kill themselves some other way, just not on the bridge. If you want to do it that bad, you will find a way. I wish we had bus only lanes!

The JR said...

OMG, what makes somebody want to jump off a bridge????

Kate said...

Yes, it does look like the footbridge I posted today (10-3-10)

Anonymous said...

Such a grand bridge you have there! I can see why it was voted as such an engineering feat!

That bridge on my blog normally takes just a few minutes to cross because there 4 lanes on each bridge. Not so around holidays. Then it's bumper to bumper and takes quite a while.