Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is advising North Shore drivers to get ready for big changes to how they travel on State Highway 18 (SH18) when a new eastbound off-ramp at Paul Matthews Road opens at 5am on Tuesday 27 April. The changes are necessary as part of the Northern Corridor Improvements (NCI) project.
“This layout change is required to enable work to progress in the construction zone so that we have the space to build the north bound connections,” says Waka Kotahi National Manager Infrastructure Delivery Andrew Thackwray.
“The nature of this work means it will cause some disruption to road users, but when finished the Northern Corridor Improvements will provide much better transport options on the North Shore for freight, cars, pedestrians and cyclists.”
The new road layout will shift all traffic heading east through a new intersection at Paul Matthews Road. The biggest change is that drivers must turn right at new traffic lights on the off-ramp, to head to Unsworth Heights, the SH1 motorway at Constellation Drive or to continue travel to East Coast Bays.
“This is a significant change to how people move around, so we are asking for people to be patient for the first couple of weeks while everyone adjusts to the new layout,” says Mr Thackwray.
“We’re advising people to plan ahead and allow extra time to travel as major delays are expected especially during the morning and afternoon peaks.”
People are encouraged to avoid SH18 altogether and use alternative routes. For people travelling from the west to the city, they can use the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) instead.
Waka Kotahi will monitor the new traffic signals and queues at the intersection in real time and can adjust the signal phases to help improve traffic flows if required.
While the new road layout is permanent, the number of vehicles using this off-ramp will reduce when the north bound connection between SH18 and SH1 opens in approximately 18 months. The change in layout is necessary so that work can continue to build the new motorway lanes and shared paths.
The Northern Corridor Improvements project is the final part of the Western Ring Route which when complete, will provide a continuous motorway route as an alternative to travelling on SH1 through the central city.
NCI will provide a transport upgrade for the Albany and North Shore community, with the Northern Busway being extended from Constellation to Albany Station. It includes a new motorway connection between SH1 and SH18 and will open up access to the Western Ring Route and travel to the airport.
It will deliver more than 7kms of walking and cycling paths and a wide range of local road and park connections.
Work is planned to be completed by the end of 2022.
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