Press Release – NZTA
As daylight saving ends this weekend, the NZ Transport Agency is thanking Auckland’s drivers and communities for their patience and support during its busy and successful summer season of motorway improvements across the city.
“Summer may have been a disappointment to some because of the unsettled weather, but from our point of view it’s been a very successful season with some notable achievements,” says the NZTA’s acting State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Steve Mutton. “One reason for our success has been the tremendous support we have had from drivers and communities in Auckland, and they have played a very important role in helping us attain our goals.”
Mr Mutton says the NZTA’s programme included a full range of transport activities: motorway openings, new starts, upgrades and improvements, demolitions, and supporting projects undertaken by the NZTA’s transport partners. The milestones include:-
• Opening the first two lanes of the Victoria Park Tunnel on SH1 in central Auckland
• Newmarket’s northbound and southbound viaducts were successfully “stitched” together.
• Removal of the Auckland Harbour Bridge’s existing surface, cleaning of the deck plate and a new surface on some of the northbound clip on lanes.
• Opening the Victoria Park flyover to four lanes of southbound traffic and easing morning congestion
• Demolition of the Selwood Avenue Bridge as part of the Lincoln Road interchange improvements on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16)
• Closing a section of the Southern Motorway to switch traffic to the new northbound Newmarket Viaduct, and completing the switch 17 hours ahead of schedule
• Construction of a trial causeway on the Northwestern Motorway – the first stage of a project to widen and raise this section of SH16 as part of the Western Ring Route.
• Start of construction of Auckland Transport’s AMETI (Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative) project. The NZTA will fund just over half of the $1.56b project to improve road and public transport links
• Construction starts on the Westgate foot and cycle bridge is underway to provide safer access across the Northwestern Motorway
• Start of construction to improve the Papakura interchange on Southern Motorway
• Third Victoria Park Tunnel lane and additional fifth lane through St Marys Bay open, and significantly improving travel times during afternoon peak
Mr Mutton says the NZTA;’s acknowledges that the unprecedented level of work has caused disruption for residents, businesses and travellers.
“It is never easy constructing projects inside a city. Our most effective way of saying ‘thank you’ is to deliver benefits for everyone: safer and more reliable travel to move freight and people around Auckland; breathing new life into community amenities like the Rob Roy Hotel; improving access for walkers and cyclists.”
Mr Mutton says the NZTA still has much to do in Auckland: completing the Waterview Connection – New Zealand’s biggest-ever roading project – and the Western Ring Route – both projects are on the Government’s list of roads of national significance –improving travel on other sections of the city’s motorway network and providing drivers with more information to help them plan their journeys.
“As we play our part in helping the city thrive and helping the economy to grow we will continue to depend on the same level of support and goodwill that Aucklanders have given us in this past summer,” says Mr Mutton