Government misses deadline to unveil alternative Auckland Harbour crossing

Auckland traffic was forced to a halt multiple times on Monday as strong winds shut down the Harbour Bridge.

It comes as the Government misses its own deadline to unveil the preferred option for a second harbour crossing.

Auckland Harbour Bridge closed due to high winds is an all too familiar sight for the city's residents.

"It's just Auckland, isn't it?" said one.

"I think they're overreacting really. Just slowing down Auckland even more," said another.

Lanes on the bridge have been closed intermittently all day, as severe wind gusts threatened to topple trucks and vans making the crossing.

To make matters worse, a crash on the bridge on Monday morning damaged a barrier, shutting multiple lanes.

"New Zealand is a windy country for god's sake, so they should have thought about that when they built [it]," said one frustrated resident.

The Government's bid to ease the pain was a big infrastructure promise this year - to build a second harbour crossing.

Five different options were put forward in March with a final decision on the preferred option supposed to be released last month. But it wasn't.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins told media on Monday Kiwis should expect to see "something" in the next few weeks.

"There's obviously been a change in the Minister of Transport, the new Minister of Transport is taking a little bit of time to make sure he's across all the details."

But when asked if former Minister Michael Wood had made a call in before he was demoted, Hipkins said no.

"Not as of the time when he stepped down."

The National Party's transport spokesperson Simeon Brown said the delay is no surprise.

"With a change over in the Minister of Transport - whether it's this project or the Government policy statement on transport for the next three years, we're not seeing any progress from this Government," he said.

"So it's no surprise they didn't meet their deadline when it came to the second harbour crossing."

Greater Auckland blog editor Matt Lowrie believes the Government shouldn't have committed to it in the first place.

"That's decades of planning to do all the design and planning and resource consenting."

But in the meantime, the city is stuck with bridge closures forced by bad weather.