Construction to improve the Lincoln Road interchange on Auckland's Northwestern motorway [State highway 16] officially started today with the Government's representative, the Minister of Police, Hon. Judith Collins, ceremonially turning the first sod on the $100m project.
Auckland’s Mayor-elect Len Brown also helped mark the beginning of work on the NZ Transport Agency project that will provide important infrastructure to support the completion of the Western Ring Route – one of the country’s seven roads of national significance (RoNS).
The NZTA State Highways Manager for Auckland, Tommy Parker, says improvements to the Lincoln Road interchange will provide significant benefits for commuters and businesses, with better travel connections and more efficient movement of freight between Auckland’s west and the central city.
“The Lincoln Road Interchange will be significantly larger with the current two-lane over bridge at Selwood Road being replaced with a new larger bridge to increase capacity,” he says. “Better access to and from the Northwestern motorway will reduce queues, improve trip reliability and, importantly, improve safety for motorists,” he says.
The motorway around the interchange will also be widened from two lanes to three in either direction, improving the traffic flow and public transport. Dedicated bus shoulders along SH16 will create the potential for quicker bus trips. Walkers and cyclists will enjoy safer connections between Lincoln Road and Selwood Road, as well as an extended northwestern cycleway for a further 2 km west to the Huruhuru Road Overbridge.
Mr. Parker says today’s events mark another important milestone in the project to complete the Western Ring Route road of national significance.
“Major progress has been made on this important route for Auckland and New Zealand. Just last week, the NZTA signed a contract with Fletcher construction to complete stage 2 of the $40m project at the Maioro Street Interchange – where this project connects with SH20,” he says.
The application to complete the Waterview Connection using the new national consenting process has been referred to a Board of Inquiry that will hear all submissions on the project. A final outcome is expected by July next year.
“Next month the NZTA will name the two shortlisted tenderers as part of the procurement process to construct the SH20 Waterview Connection tunnels and Great North Road Interchange. Running this process in parallel to the statutory approvals process could help save up to a year on construction,” says Mr Parker.
“This is New Zealand’s most complex roading project to date. It will deliver significant economic benefits to the region. Recent milestones and achievements such as today’s signal our continued commitment to have this route operational by 2016,” he adds.
Once completed, the Western Ring Route will provide a 48km alternative to SH1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. It will reduce congestion and provide more reliable travel times for both freight and people.
For more information on about the project visit: www.waterviewconnection.co.nz(external link)
Q: What is the value of the Lincoln Road project?
A: The total cost of the project is $100million.
Q: How long will it take?
A: Construction will begin imminently and will be completed by 2013.
Q: What is included in the project?
A: Initially, A new seven-lane bridge is being constructed on Lincoln Road over the State Highway 16 Northwestern Motorway. The motorway will also be widened from two to three lanes in either direction plus bus shoulder lanes. The ramps on and off the motorway will also be upgraded to align with the widened motorway.
Q: What are the benefits?
A: There will be better traffic flow through a widened motorway in the vicinity of Lincoln Road Interchange. Public transport in the SH16 corridor will be improved with the provision of bus shoulder lanes and there will be an enhanced pedestrian/cycleway thorough the Lincoln Road interchange and a continuous pedestrian/cycleway along the corridor. The existing Lincoln Road Interchange layout will be upgraded and improved to provide for multiple modes of transport and will improve the capacity to move people and freight. New signalized intersections on either side of the interchange will provide safe and more efficient movements between the motorway ramps and the local roads. All of the work on this project will support sustainable growth and development of this area adjacent to state highway 16.
Q: How does it link to the rest of the Western Ring Route projects?
A: The work to improve the Lincoln Road interchange provides supporting infrastructure to enable the completion of the Western Ring Route. It’s timing for construction of the Lincoln Road improvements is aligned to deliver an operational Western Ring Route by 2016.
Q: What will happen to old Toroa Ferry?
A: Successful negotiations between the NZTA, the Toroa Preservation Society and Radio NZ will enable the vessel to remain where it is and there will be no need to relocate it. However, some of the society’s work sheds may have to be moved at a later date.
Q: Why is the Waterview Connection application before a Board of Inquiry and not the environment court?
A: The new national consenting process is being used to consider the applications to construct the Waterview Connection. This process recognises the national importance of the Waterview Connection and will deliver a final outcome within nine months Because of the national significance of this project the national consenting process will allow a final outcome within nine months of being publicly notified on September 18.
Q: When is construction on the Waterview Connection expected to begin?
A: A final outcome of the Board of Inquiry process is expected by July next year. Depending on the outcome of that process the NZTA anticipates being able to commence construction in late 2011.
Q: What does completing the Western Ring Route project include?
A: Completing the Western Ring Route includes a 4.5km extension of SH20 from Mt Roskill to link with SH16 at the Great North Road interchange – the Waterview Connection. . 2.5km of this extension is made up of 2 x three-lane tunnels. Other works in the project include capacity improvements to SH16 from St Lukes to Westgate.
Q: When will the Western Ring Route project be completed?
A: We expect the SH20/SH16 connection to be operational from 2016. The section from Lincoln Road to Westgate will be completed once the SH20/SH16 link is completed.
Q: What is a ‘road of national significance?
A: In March 2009 the Government announced seven ‘roads of national significance’ (RoNS) that are seen as lead infrastructure projects requiring high priority to enable regional and economic growth and development. The focus of the RoNS is on moving people and freight reliably, safely and efficiently. There is a target to have all seven RoNS completed by 2020.
(L to R) Mayor-elect Len Brown, Hon Judith Collins and NZTA State Highways Manager Tommy Parker turn the first sods to mark the start of construction on the SH16 Lincoln Road Interchange Improvements. Also present at the morning's celebration was Assid Corban, the first Mayor of Waitakere City.