The interchange on the Northwestern Motorway (State Highway 16) is a key part of the Western Ring Route – the strategic alternative to SH1 identified by the Government as one of its Roads of National Significance.
“Thousands of people pass through the construction site every day, and we’re now opening up the door so that they can come in and take a look at what happens behind the barriers,” says the NZTA’s acting State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Steve Mutton.” This open day is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the community for the support they’ve given us over the past couple of years. We also want people to come along and learn more about the development of the project and its role in completing a Western Ring Route motorway alternative around Auckland.”
The open day coincides with the start of construction on the third stage of the upgrade – the widening of the Henderson Creek Bridge east of the interchange.
As work develops on the interchange, two neighbouring projects linked to the Western Ring Route are also underway. Enabling works have started at the Waterview Connection project before construction of its twin tunnels starts next year, and the upgrade of the SH16 causeway to make it wider and higher will also start in the new year. Staff from both projects will be present on the day to update the community.
“The Western Ring Route will have a huge impact on travel around Auckland,” Mr Mutton says. “When it is completed, this 48 kilometre-long motorway choice for drivers will provide much better connections between Manukau in the south, Auckland International Airport, Waitakere and the North Shore, and ease congestion on the Auckland Harbour Bridge and the CBD.”
Work at Lincoln Road began in 2010. A new Selwood Road Bridge has been completed, but will not be fully open to traffic until the east-bound motorway on and off ramps are re-built. Mr Mutton says better access to and from the motorway will reduce queues, make travel more reliable and improve safety for drivers.
The motorway around the interchange is also being widened from two lanes to three in both directions. Dedicated bus shoulders along the motorway will improve public transport journeys to and from the city. There will also be better connections for walkers and cyclists between Lincoln Road and Selwood Road, as well as an extended Northwestern cycleway.
“We have a lot to show and tell people and we hope they take advantage of this opportunity to have look behind the scenes,” says Mr Mutton.
The open day is on Saturday, 24 November, between 9am and 2pm. Site access and parking will be available on Selwood Road and will be well signposted.
People can contact the project at 09 969 9800 or www.nzta.govt.nz/wrr
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