NZTA approves funds to upgrade key Auckland corridor


Plans to upgrade the next section of Auckland’s busy Albany Highway have received a $2.52m funding boost from the NZ Transport Agency.

The NZTA’s Regional Manager of Planning and Investment, Peter Casey, says the $2.52m is a 53 percent share of a $4.75m project to design the next stage of improvements along the key North Shore transport corridor – from the Albany Highway’s intersection with the old State Highway 17 south to Schnappers Rock Road.

The upgrade of the Albany Highway is lead by Auckland Transport (AT), and Mr Casey says the NZ Transport Agency supports AT’s assessment that the upgrade is a priority investment.

“Many people living on the North Shore will know from experience of the long queues and slow travel times along the highway in peak periods. The planned improvements will help ease that congestion and provide more reliable journey times for all drivers and people who rely on public transport.”

The NZTA’s funding announcement is for the third stage of the corridor’s upgrade. Glenfield Road to the south has already been upgraded between the Glenfield shopping centre and Sunset Road, while Auckland Transport’s design work is underway on improvements between Sunset Road and the Upper Harbour motorway (SH18).

Designing the third stage is expected to be completed before the end of this year.  Improvements along this 3.7 kilometre-long corridor include widening the highway to four lanes, providing bus and T3 lanes during the morning and afternoon peaks, installing traffic signals at three roundabouts, and upgrading access for walkers and cyclists.   Construction is estimated to cost around $68m.

"This project will not only improve access between important work areas in Albany and Wairau Valley and along the Western Ring Route motorway to the west, but will also  give people more and safer choices about how they travel,” Mr Casey says.

In the three years between 2012/15, $3.4b will be invested in the Auckland region’s transport systems through the National Land Transport Programme.  The NLTP is a funding partnership between the NZTA and local authorities like Auckland Transport and Auckland Council.   The region’s committed and recommended investment includes $1.6b for state highways, $968m for local roads and $890m for public transport.  The investment includes funding Albany Highway when re-construction of the route starts.