Opening day and ceremonies
On 27 January 1956 the Prime Minister the Rt. Hon Mr S.G. Holland unveiled the foundation tablet and the Bridge was officially under way.
In April 1959 the Bridge was complete 3 weeks ahead of schedule. The first car to cross the bridge was on Friday 24 April, driven by Mr W. Cardno, project supervisor for the contractors. Apparently the journey took a long time, due to the obstacles such as machinery, materials and tools.
The public were given the opportunity to walk across the 3348 foot long Bridge on Sunday 24 May, and over 106,000 people made the journey.
The Bridge was opened on Saturday 30 May 1959 by the Governor-General, His Excellency Lord Cobham, whose car made the first crossing that day. The ceremony was held on the Toll Plaza, at Sulphur Beach, with about 1000 guests in attendance.
The Bridge Superintendent, Mr DG MacPherson made the first entry in the daily log book on opening day: “11.10 Bridge open. Good luck to you and God bless. May it never close”.
The Bridge opened for traffic at 2.58pm, with Lady Allum collecting the first toll from Mr Frank Perry. In the first hour 3787 vehicles had crossed the bridge (1917 heading north and 1870 south). Over 20,000 vehicles crossed the Bridge on the first day.
Owner: Auckland Archives
Size: 12 items