Upgrading the bridge

Hi-tech reinforcing

In 2009 the bridge was strengthened, to be part of the Central Connector Project, a 3 km bus corridor connecting Auckland CBD and Newmarket.

The bridge had a $7 million carbon fibre reinforcing upgrade to bring it up to current earthquake standards. It can now accommodate up to 1200 busses daily.

The reinforcing work entailed each vertical member of the structure having four holes drilled from top to bottom to receive carbon-fibre reinforcing. This precision work achieved drilling tolerances of 2mm per metre.

Members of the Grey family cut the ribbon at the re-opening ceremony in October 2009 with the original sterling silver scissors used to open the bridge 99 years earlier.

The screens - tragedies averted

Grafton Bridge was – sadly – the site of many deaths by suicide. In 1957, mesh screens were installed, increasing the height of the bridge balustrade. The mesh screens were removed in 1996, and suicide rates increased five-fold.

In 2002, the existing curved, tempered glass screens were installed. They had to be individually crafted, to accommodate the uneven dimensions of the ageing bridge, which was built in 1910.

Grafton bridge now

  • <p>Grafton Bridge is now a major link for walkers and cyclists.</p>
  • <p>The northern and of the bridge offer great views of the lush vegetation of the cemetery.</p>
  • <p>A small memorial at the base of Garfton Bridge.</p>