The central Auckland intersection of Franklin Road and Victoria Street West will be closed over Easter so that preparations can be made for construction of the motorway tunnel under Victoria Park.
The NZ Transport Agency says that the closure will enable two stormwater drainage systems to be relocated away from the tunnel construction site.
The intersection will be closed to vehicles from 5am on Good Friday until 5am the following Tuesday, 6 April. Access will be maintained for pedestrians and cyclists. Traffic will also be able to use the lower part of Franklin Road to reach the supermarket located there.
The NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland, Tommy Parker, says he is aware of the impact a roading project in the centre of Auckland is having on the community and everything is being done to minimise the inconvenience to people.
“We are grateful for the support we are getting from the community and the Easter closure will help us keep to our timetable so that we can complete the Victoria Park Tunnel project on time,” Mr Parker added.
The drainage systems being relocated include the historic Freemans Bay Culvert, built around 1900 to channel a stream from Western Park. The brick-lined culvert still collects stormwater for all of Freemans Bay.
Construction of the 450 metre-long ‘cut and cover’ Victoria Park tunnel is due to start next month. When completed, it will carry three lanes of northbound traffic on the Southern Motorway [State Highway 1]. The existing viaduct over the park will be reconfigured to carry four southbound lanes of traffic.
When the project is finished in 2012, it will ease heavy congestion on the Southern Motorway between the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the Central Motorway Junction, and the Newmarket Viaduct. .