Motorcyclists and drivers of high-sided vehicles have been urged to completely avoid the Auckland Harbour Bridge tomorrow, with gale-force winds expected to rip through the city.
Metservice forecasts heavy rain and north-easterly winds that may approach severe gales at times to howl through the city from 8am.
“The forecast in the bridge area is for winds gusting 80-90km/h in the morning between 8am and 1pm,” Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says.
“From 1pm to 8pm it’s forecasting winds up to 100km/h, before easing back to 80-90km/h.”
Drivers of high sided vehicles and motorcyclists are urged to instead use the Western Ring on State Highways 16 and 18 tomorrow, with motorists warned the bridge will be closed if needed.
“We advise motorists to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys. Drive to the conditions, keep within your lane when crossing the bridge and keep to the speed limit,” Auckland System Manager Andrea Williamson said.
“Safety is our priority and we will not hesitate to close the bridge if that becomes necessary.
“Waka Kotahi will be closely monitoring the changing weather conditions with Metservice and will provide updates on social media and our Journey Planner.”
Less than two months ago a freak 127km/h gust of wind gust blew a truck over, forcing it into a critical load-bearing strut and triggering a closure of the bridge.
The damaged caused chaos for commuters, bringing the city to a standstill.
Motorists had been forced to use alternate routes, often taking two hours to reach one side of the city from the other in peak-hour travel after the bridge was reduced to six lanes for more than a fortnight.
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