The new Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway opened to the public in the early hours of this morning and Waka Kotahi is anticipating a reduction in congestion and improved journeys across the north Auckland transport network after the first full day of operation.
“We are very pleased with how the network has been flowing,” says Waka Kotahi Regional Manager Maintenance and Operations, Jacqui Hori-Hoult.
“We’re getting great feedback about the positive difference that the new route is having across the network, for both people and freight.
“With the bulk of journeys being made on State Highway 1, we expect to see ongoing improvements to safety, access and journeys for communities north of Auckland.
“It will take time for patterns to settle, and we are anticipating a slight increase in the overall number of vehicles on the state highway network today.
“People should be aware that the roads are likely to be very busy this week, as many people will take the opportunity to drive on the new road. But initial signs of how the network is working, and the wider benefits that Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth is bringing to the Northland region, are extremely positive,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.
Waka Kotahi is working closely with local council partners, who have reported no issues with congestion or queuing on local roads.
“We want to remind people to merge and change lanes safely, and to take time to become familiar with the new road layout.
“It will take time for people to get used to the changes. So, before starting your journey, it’d be worth paying careful attention to correct lane placement when you are on the road.”
Waka Kotahi would also like to remind motorists that the Pūhoi southbound on-ramp is closed 24/7, for approximately four weeks and the Pūhoi northbound off-ramp is closed from 9pm to 5am daily, for approximately two weeks.
“We appreciate this is inconvenient however this is the last major step required to provide access to the new motorway and smoother ride for journeys to and from Pūhoi.
“I’d like to thank the community in advance for being patient, courteous, and safe while these final works are completed” says Ms Hori-Hoult.
Note for heavy vehicles
A mass permit memo has been released for SH1N - Pūhoi to Warkworth, it details the conditions and restrictions for permitted vehicles planning to use the new motorway. A copy of the memo is available online through the Heavy Vehicle Portal site.