Building Bridges: Building Communities
- Publication no: ABC-LCM301-14
- Published: 22 October 2014
The paper focuses on the urban design aspects of bridge infrastructure, recognising the importance bridges have in our communities and the often overlooked social responsibility bridge builders have when undertaking such projects.Using examples from two recent bridge projects in Auckland, New Zealand (Newmarket Viaduct and Old Mangere Bridge), the authors outline the process undertaken for delivering bridge infrastructure that benefits not only the wider transport system but also the local community. The New Zealand Transport Agencys statutory responsibility is the safe and efficient operation of the state highway network. However, highways are more than corridors for the efficient movement of people and goods. As well as meeting transport needs, the road network and elevated structures like bridges have a fundamental influence on urban form. Infrastructure projects provide an opportune time to identify and incorporate wider community benefits into design solutions. The value gained by incorporating community input and goals into bridge design scope and engineering are explored. A key learning from the projects is not to underestimate the level of interest and ownership local communities associate with bridge infrastructure, and how new bridges can act as a catalyst for urban regeneration.