The NZ Transport Agency opened the SH20 Cavendish to Puhinui connecting road and westbound on-ramp in Manukau today (Wednesday 5 January), completing the new SH20-1 Manukau motorway - the southern gateway to Auckland.
The opening marks the completion of the final stage of the project which has opened progressively in three stages since August 2010. The $220M Manukau Extension motorway connects the Southwestern (SH20) and Southern Motorways (SH1) in Manukau and has taken four years to construct.
“The connecting road enables seamless travel on the new motorway without stopping, from the Southern Motorway or Cavendish Interchange - all the way to Puhinui Road (SH20B) and Auckland International Airport,” says the NZTA’s Regional Director for Auckland and Northland, Stephen Town.
“We’d like to thank the people of Manukau and all drivers for their patience and co-operation during one of the most complex openings of any motorway in Auckland. We’re so delighted that everyone can now use the new connecting road which links them directly to the airport during this busy holiday period,” says Mr Town.
“We’re expecting immediate benefits for drivers of commercial and heavy vehicles who depend on travel reliability to get to the ports and the airport on time. The new, more direct route will also reduce commuting times for the 12,000 workers who travel to the airport daily,” he adds.
The connecting road and on-ramp between the Cavendish and Puhinui Interchanges took three months to build since last September. It involved completely demolishing the old Roscommon Road bridge and building a new sewer line and a new westbound on-ramp. The Puhinui Stream was also diverted and hundreds of native fish carefully relocated to the new section of the stream.
The project forms the southern gateway to the Western Ring Route, one of the Government’s seven roads of national significance. When completed in 2020, the ring route will provide a new 48 kilometre motorway around Auckland to ease pressure on SH1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
The 4.5 kilometre long motorway eliminates 12 sets of traffic lights and helps to ease congestion on local roads around the Manukau shopping and business areas. The four-lane motorway features 12 bridges and three major interchanges at SH1, Lambie Drive and Cavendish Drive. Work also included completing earthworks for the new Manukau rail link – a KiwiRail and Auckland Council project to connect central Manukau with Auckland’s rail network which is scheduled to open this year.
Some minor resurfacing work will continue to add the finishing touches to intersections on Lambie Drive and Great South Road around the Manukau northbound off-ramp, until Monday 10 January. Some detours will be in place on local roads.
For more information visit www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/manukauextension(external link)