Point Resolution Bridge Hero

Point Resolution Bridge: A new landmark for Auckland’s waterfront

Point Resolution Bridge, an Auckland landmark, has connected Parnell to Tamaki Drive since the 1930s. However, engineering reports showed that the bridge was suffering severe structural fatigue and both sections needed to be urgently replaced.

The bridge crosses Tamaki drive, three rail tracks and the inlet to Judges Bay. Imminent electrification of Auckland’s rail network meant the bridge also needed to be raised – and fast. There was a narrow window of three months to complete the rail critical elements of the project. Enter Hawkins.

What we did:

We were responsible for demolishing and replacing the existing footbridge that crossed both live rail and road corridors on Tamaki Drive. And we had three months in which to do the bulk of it.

The contract was awarded in September 2012 with the rail critical elements needing to be complete by Christmas. Despite significant design development post-tender and challenging ground conditions, we delivered the critical aspects of the project on time.

The bridge features a series of three sculpted arches which cradle the pedestrian deck. The deck consists of a simple concrete beam – hull-like in shape to provide a connection to the yachts and the harbour beyond. A glass balustrade gives the bridge a sense of openness. Both the concrete deck and the glass balustrade feature a collaborative artwork designed by Henriata Nicholas. The custom pattern, featuring puungarungaru designs, represents movement and water, and provides continuity between the two bridge elements. The bridge also features an innovative cycle rail enabling cyclists to get up and down the stairs with ease.

Together with Auckland Council, we also implemented a large signage and letter drop campaign to ensure all stakeholders were aware of the status and anticipated timeframe of the project.

Unique challenges:

This was a difficult construction project with a number of high risk elements, which we successfully overcame. These included:

  • Highly technical modelling of the architectural steel work to enable the construction team to take the information from the design model into the workshop. PFS Engineering did a fantastic job overcoming this technical challenge.
  • Incorporating an artist’s design into the formed face of the precast beams. Wilson Precast undertook this aspect of construction, while the pattern was formed using a rubber form liner fabricated by Jackson Electrical.
  • The piling, which included 10 metre deep, 1200 mm diameter piles installed through an existing sea wall with only night access from Tamaki Drive, as well as 9 metre deep, 450 mm diameter piles required to the headland. These were completed using a kit set rig that was mobilised to site and assembled by hand using a rope access crew. CLL’s innovative approach was the key ingredient to the success of the piling.
  • Assembling the bridge during the Christmas break over a two-day period by way of a tandem lift. This required piled outrigger foundations and the new precast beams meant both cranes were working at full capacity.

The outcome:

The iconic footbridge, which has served commuters, local residents, Parnell Baths users and people enjoying the inner city waterfront area for almost a century, is now a contemporary structure, incorporating Maori designs that represent the connection between land and sea. 

KiwiRail’s electrification programme meant there was only a narrow window of opportunity to get this project done over summer months. To have this striking new bridge conceived, designed, consulted on, built and completed within a year is a major achievement for all concerned.

Shale Chambers

Waitemata Local Board Chair