New service to keep people connected on busy motorways


The NZ Transport Agency has started a dedicated information service to help people stay connected and in touch with extensive construction work affecting travel on Auckland’s Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways (State Highways 16 and 20)

The acting Auckland State Highways Manager, Steve Mutton, says construction is continuing to accelerate along both motorways as the Transport Agency ramps up work to get the Western Ring Route completed by 2017.

“Work is really hitting top gear. We’ve got three out of five projects – the Waterview Connection, the Lincoln Road interchange and the causeway upgrade - already underway, and Te Atatu and St Lukes are set to start in the next few months.

“With so much activity on the go over the next four years, there are going to be impacts and changes to the motorways. Our new Stay Connected webpage(external link) enables people to keep informed about what those changes and impacts are so they can plan their trips. The more people check, the better prepared they’ll be,” Mr Mutton says.

Mr Mutton says that Stay Connected is one of the measures the Transport Agency is introducing to help get people through and keep contractors safe as they work next to a live motorway environment.

“Impacts on travel are never easy and we acknowledge it’s frustrating. We’re working with our local Government partners Auckland Transport to come up with the right solutions that enable us to keep the motorways open and people moving, and at the same time, will keep our Contractors safe as they work beside the traffic.

“While there is no silver bullet, we’ll be introducing a number of measures throughout the construction timetable. We’ll monitor the impacts of those measures and we’ll adjust as we need to.”

Mr Mutton encourages people to visit link) which will be kept up to date with information about changes that may affect people’s travel. Key changes coming this week include:

  • On Wednesday, Sunday, next Monday (25, 29 and 30 September) and next Tuesday (1 October), full night closures will be in place westbound on SH16 between St Lukes and Patiki Road between 10.30pm and 5am.
  • From next Monday (30 September) there will be a lane merge in place westbound on SH16 just past the Great North Road off-ramp. This means traffic will need to merge from three lanes down to two and care is required while drivers get used to the new motorway layout.
  • Also along SH16 lane narrowing will be implemented in some sections.

As well we as keeping informed about the changes, Mr Mutton says there are also a number of other things drivers can do to help keep the journey as smooth as possible.

“Staying in your lane, keeping your gas tank full, merging like a zip and braking gently may seem insignificant but they can have a big impact on the way the motorways works. With such a small space we have little room for error so everything counts.

“Another option is to leave the car at home and use public transport when possible. Trains, ferries and buses are all good alternatives.”

The Transport Agency says it appreciates the support and patience of drivers and is asking for that to continue while it works to get the job done.

“In 2017 we’ll have a completed Western Ring Route delivering many benefits for Aucklanders and New Zealanders. There’ll be better transport options, more room for buses and better facilities for walkers and cyclists,” Mr Mutton says. “Until then please be patient, drive with care and stay connected.”