The NZ Transport opened its newest motorway, at Hobsonville in northwest Auckland, at 3.30am on Sunday, 7 August – six months ahead of schedule.
Contractors worked through Saturday night to complete the final touches to the $220m project and ensure the lanes were ready.
The Prime Minister officially opened the motorway yesterday morning (Saturday), which was followed by a community open day that attracted thousands of people using a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk and cycle the highway.
The $220M motorway is a six kilometre, four-lane motorway between Upper Harbour Bridge in the east and Westgate in the west; and a three kilometre extension of the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) from Westgate to a new roundabout at Brigham Creek Road.
The Hobsonville motorway completes the northern section of the Western Ring Route road of national significance, connecting the North Shore and West Auckland and improving access to the growing north west areas of Kumeu and Massey.
The NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker, says the motorway is flowing well, but he advised drivers they should prepare for changes to their usual commute in tomorrow’s morning peak.
“Delays are expected at Westgate in the mornings heading onto the Northwestern Motorway so we’re advising drivers to plan ahead and leave extra time for their journeys to the city. We know that there will be a settling in period as people get used to the new routes, so they should drive carefully during peak times,” he says.
Traffic is also expected to build up in the afternoons between SH18 Albany Highway and the Northern Motorway at Constellation Drive.
Construction of the final section of the Western Ring Route – the Waterview Connection that will link the Southern Western (State Highway 20) and Northwestern (SH16) motorways – is planned to start before Christmas. It will be New Zealand’s biggest ever roading project.
When complete, the Western Ring Route will provide a 48 kilometre-long motorway alternative to SH1 through central Auckland, and provide improved transport links between north, west and south Auckland, and to and from Auckland International Airport.
For more information phone 0800 520 202 or visit www.nzta.govt.nz/hobsonville(external link)
Advice for drivers