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Noise protection walls to get a facelift and a new coat of paint

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The bright orange noise protection walls along State Highway 16 and 18 in Auckland are to get a facelift and a fresh coat of paint. Some of the walls are now surplus to requirements and will be removed.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray says the noise walls were built in 2011 as part of the SH18 Hobsonville Deviation and SH16 Brigham Creek extension project.

“The walls are made of marine plywood sheets and the wood and paint are beginning to show their age. The walls will be covered with aluminium panels and painted grey and green to match other noise walls on the road corridor.”

Local mana whenua, Te Kawerau a Maki, have endorsed the new colour scheme.

One of the noise protection walls on SH18 that was built in 2011.Caption: One of the noise protection walls on SH18 that was built in 2011.

One of the noise protection walls on SH18 that was built in 2011.

The original orange colour was a design acknowledgement of the area’s history and the ceramics and pottery industries that operated there. About 700 metres of noise walls were built as part of the motorway construction.

Three of the seven walls – more than 400 metres in length - will be removed.

“One of the walls will be replaced by extending an earth bund to act as a noise barrier. Another wall is situated between the state highway and a local road so is not needed. A third wall was built to protect future housing, but that development is not going ahead there now.”

Nearby property owners were consulted about removal of the walls.

The wall remediation will cost $2.1m and is expected to be finished in October 2020.

SH18, also known as the Upper Harbour Highway, and SH16, the Northwestern Motorway, service the growing population in Auckland’s north west. They form the northern section of the Western Ring Route which provides a resilient alternative north-south route to going over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and through central Auckland on SH1.

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