Auckland Mayoral Candidate Ryan Pausina has designed a theoretical extruded tube as a potential solution for a second bridge crossing. Pausina has become interested in the engineering issues faced by Auckland and has felt a second crossing is one thing that is missing.

He says he also understands the process of wealth loss heading out of Auckland due to fuel purchase from cars that needs to be targeted. Generally, cars consume fuel at a cost of about $100 to $200 per week from someone’s pay packet, which is money that is then extracted out of the Auckland region. Therefore, reducing fuel use is a profit-making exercise.

“Can a large tube extruding machine be constructed? Would it be able to make continuous bends in the lengths? Can extrusion of a second bridge crossing be carried out on a barge to float a kilometre long section on top of the water and then to sink some of the chambers to submerge the structure into place?” says Pausina.

Big questions to ask, however the gains are large, he says.

Dredging a trench for the tube he says is a low-cost construction method for a second crossing, an exercise that could cost 0.3B as opposed to 3.0B of other methods. It is certain that going under the harbour is the only solution as it is an energetic advantage and a shorter distance to travel. Going over would require a climb of almost 50 metres vertically above the mast of yachts and then back down again, going under would only require a distance of going down 14 metres and then up 14.     

“If possible, the winnings are large, an extruded tube with internal sections creates a very stable lattice requiring less bracing. There is no waste of materials with extrusion and no assembly costs as what comes out is the finished product.”

The tube in theory would be called the OverTube and be used all throughout Auckland city to serve a completely new transport system and labyrinth. With the tube being elevated up on columns three metres above the pavement is a new idea, also with placement at times along the centrelane of the road, above the streams and estuaries to connect the city with a network of OverTubes.

“The advantages are for the taking. Tamaki Drive and many pavement areas have fallen into disarray while attempting to accommodate alternative transport that we call E-modem along with more space for cycles. Accommodating pedestrians, motor vehicles, cycles and E-modem on the same plane is an impossibility no matter which way we design or colour code the pavement. The roads are getting smaller in proportion to provide surface area, now are too small. The pavements are filled with traffic barriers every 100 meters or less. These include constant intersections between cycles and pedestrians, road intersections and traffic lights that stop all: bikes, walkers and cars altogether. Other obstacles for cycles and E-modem are numerous and include storm water drains, storm water channel, curb stones and yellow blind walker judder bumps that almost throw people off.”

The solution is to make a new OverTube transport network above the street. Bicycles are a proven technology, being completely unchanged in design for around 100 years makes them a completed technology. The same can be said about E-bikes, they are extremely successful and are a permanent fixture of the future both as modem and from an energetic perspective. Removing joggers, cycles and all E-modem from the street level is a giant win and is a solution to some big issues like Auckland’s traffic congestion and carbon neutral targets.

“What are the positives? The overTube is transparent, letting light through the structure, avoiding light being lost it wouldn’t shade the street level below. It would also not require its own lighting system, as it would receive light from street lighting. It would serve as rain covering for pedestrians below like how shopfronts awnings do. It is a network completely free of roading and traffic obstacles. saving large amounts of time lost at traffic lights that completely stall flow. It provides elimination of oncoming collisions with the opposing direction of E-bike traffic with a dividing barrier that also serves as a main structural element. The OverTube also eliminates collision with cars, walkers, dogs and cats, reversing cars from driveways, light poles, manholes, rough road chip surfaces, earthworks events, tree roots, hazards and foul weather. “

Is the OverTube the logical solution for Auckland? Can it be used by a wider group of people, younger than the minimum driving age that is required for the road? Food for thought. We’d love to hear your feedback.