Lane changes on Auckland’s Southern Motorway to assist ongoing construction work


The NZ Transport Agency advises motorists travelling south on Auckland’s Southern Motorway (SH1) of planned lane changes to assist ongoing construction work as part of the Southern Corridor Improvements project.

The lane changes will be made on SH1 at Takanini and near Papakura from early February. No lanes will be closed, but the road layout will be different, says the Transport Agency’s Senior Manager Project Delivery, Chris Hunt.

“Drivers are encouraged to drive with care as they get used to the new layout and keep to the temporary 80km/h speed limit through the active construction zones.”

The layout changes are to facilitate ongoing work by the NZ Transport Agency to improve safety and journey reliability on Auckland’s Southern Motorway by creating extra lanes and easing bottlenecks.

Drivers travelling south on SH1 will notice the lane changes from early February at Takanini where a third lane is being added to the overbridge crossing Great South Road. The two existing southbound lanes will be split for about 800-metres, just before the Takanini off-ramp, before joining again south of Great South Road before the motorway on-ramp.

Splitting the lanes will create a safe working zone for crews to connect the new section of the bridge to the existing motorway. The work should be completed in April.

Further south, motorists will also see lane changes where SH1 crosses the northern Pahurehure Inlet, between Takinini and Papakura. The changes in mid-February are the first stage in the process, to enable the construction of a new single span bridge with extra lanes to replace the existing northbound and southbound bridges.

“The new single span bridge will be more resilient and safer for motorists. Completing the work while also keeping the motorway operating will require careful planning and a staged approach,” says Mr Hunt.

A temporary bridge for southbound traffic has been built alongside the existing bridge. In February, northbound and southbound lanes will be diverted to use this temporary bridge. This will allow demolition of the old northbound bridge and construction of the new single span bridge in its place.

The same process will be followed to replace the southbound bridge and the two new portions will then be joined together to form a single structure. When completed, the new bridge will carry three lanes of traffic in each direction.

“In all, it will take three separate shifts of traffic over the next 18 months for the bridge work to be completed but no lanes will be closed. We’ll simply be shifting traffic lanes so work can take place on either side,” says Mr Hunt.

“The Transport Agency asks motorists to be vigilant and patient during this time of change. The outcome will be improved safety, journey reliability and traffic flows on our main highway.”

When completed in 2019, the Southern Corridor Improvements project will provide an extra southbound lane on SH1 between Manukau and Papakura and an extra northbound lane between Papakura and Takanini, along with a 4.5 km shared walking and cycling path and a new and improved Takanini interchange.

Find updates on the Southern Corridor Improvements project page.