The NZ Transport Agency has praised the work of emergency services after yesterday’s crash on the Auckland Harbour Bridge caused widespread congestion on the city’s motorway network.
“The Transport Agency regrets any inconvenience to people delayed on Saturday, but the priority has to be the wellbeing of the injured. Prompt action by the emergency services to help those people and then get the three northbound lanes re-opened in three hours after what was a serious crash was fantastic,” says the Transport Agency’s State Highway Manager Brett Gliddon.
Although the Transport Agency was able to keep one northbound lane on the bridge open during the crash, Mr Gliddon says the crash highlights the need to develop the Western Ring Route as an alternative motorway to State Highway 1’s Northern and Southern Motorways through the central city.
“We can’t anticipate when and where a serious crash like yesterday’s will happen. However, the Western Ring Route will provide more resilience to Auckland’s network and a true alternative motorway route between the north and south sides of the harbour that will give people another choice to get across the city to avoid disruption elsewhere.”
The Western Ring Route – one of the Government’s National Roads of Significance will connect the Southwestern and Northwestern Motorways (SHs 16 and 20) – will be a 47 kilometre motorway between Manukau, the top end of the Waitemata Harbour and Albany.
The Transport Agency is investing more than $2b to in five current projects to complete the route. These include construction of the twin tunnels at Waterview, widening and raising the causeway on the Northwestern Motorway, and improvements to the Northwestern’s interchanges at St Lukes Road, Te Atatu Road and Lincoln Road.
“We think diverting traffic yesterday along the Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways worked well, but it will be a lot more effective when all those projects are completed and the two motorways connected by early 2017,” Mr Gliddon says.
As part of Auckland Council’s Auckland Plan, Mr Gliddon says the Transport Agency will also work with Council, Auckland Transport and the Government on the an additional crossing under the Waitemata harbour.
For more information please contact:
Auckland/Northland Media Manager
NZ Transport Agency
T: 09 928 8720
M: 027 213 7616