A new motorway for Waitakere commuters has officially begun construction after a sod turning ceremony this morning.
Transport Minister Hon. Annette King turned the first sod on the NZ Transport Agency’s SH18 Hobsonville Deviation and SH16 Brigham Creek Extension. Also joining Minister King was Associate Minister of Transport Judith Tizard, Mayor of Waitakere City Bob Harvey, Deputy Mayor of North Shore City Julia Parfitt and Mayor of Rodney District Penny Webster.
The $220M project will help to reduce travel times for motorists by providing a better connection between Waitakere City and North Shore City. Construction is expected to take four years with an opening scheduled for 2012.
The new six kilometre, four-lane motorway is the last section of the new SH18 to begin construction. The project also includes a three kilometre, two-lane extension of SH16 to a new roundabout at Brigham Creek Road.
The Hobsonville Deviation features four interchanges at Hobsonville Road, Brigham Creek Road, Trig Road and Buckley Avenue. A cable-stay bridge at Clarks Lane will give pedestrians and cyclists direct access across the motorway. The existing cyclist and pedestrian path on the Upper Harbour Bridge will connect to Hobsonville Road via the new Buckley Avenue Bridge. There will also be provision along the motorway route for bus shoulder lanes to be installed in the future.
“The new Hobsonville motorway will increase capacity and help to relieve congestion that often builds along Hobsonville Road. The NZTA’s Greenhithe Deviation and Upper Harbour Bridge projects opened last year and are already improving travel times. This project is the final connection to the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) at Hobsonville Road,” says NZTA acting regional manager Tommy Parker.
The motorway will provide the transport infrastructure to support planned urban growth in Waitakere City. It will also give extra capacity to cope with a new housing development planned for the site of the old Hobsonville airbase.
The project also forms the northern link in the agency’s Western Ring Route. When completed, the ring route will give an alternative to SH1 between Albany and Manukau City via SH1, SH20, SH16 and SH18.