Motorists are advised that there will be temporary changes to motorway access and exit points over Auckland Anniversary Weekend as the NZ Transport Agency carries out vital work on its two major State Highway 1 upgrades - the Victoria Park Tunnel and the Newmarket Connection: Viaduct Replacement projects.
The Fanshawe Street on-ramp to the Auckland Harbour Bridge will be closed from midnight on Friday January 28 until 5am on Tuesday February 1 for work associated with the tunnel. Drivers heading north out of the Auckland CBD over this period should use either the Curran Street or Wellington Street on-ramps.
The height of the Fanshawe Street on-ramp is being raised as part of a complex programme of works to connect the new tunnel - one of the Government's seven Roads of National Significance - into the motorway network.
The Fanshawe Street off-ramp (southbound), the key entry point to central Auckland from the north, will remain open throughout the weekend.
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South of the city, work on the Newmarket Viaduct replacement will affect motorists heading to Auckland International Airport as part of the old viaduct over Gillies Ave is demolished.
Although the Gillies Ave on and off ramps will remain open to allow motorway access to and from Newmarket, there will be no right turn available under the bridge from the southbound off-ramp - the traditional airport route for many - from midnight on Friday, 28 January, until 5am the following Tuesday, 1 February. Over this period, airport traffic is advised to follow the marked detour on the Southern Motorway [SH1] until the South Eastern Highway (Onehunga) exit.
The NZTA's State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker, says the works have been scheduled over Auckland Anniversary Weekend to limit their impact on the city.
"By taking advantage of three consecutive days of lighter traffic volumes, we are able to complete two major packages of work that are critical to the progress of their respective projects," says Mr Parker. "And both closures will not become effective until late on Friday night after most of the holiday traffic has left the city."
"Alternative options would have seen us having to work at nights over extended periods, which would not only delay progress but cause significant ongoing disruption to local residents and motorists."
Acknowledging a number of events happening around the city over the long weekend, Mr Parker says the NZTA will do all it can to limit disruption for those staying in Auckland.
Detours and route advice will be clearly marked in the CBD and on SH1, while people planning to visit events such as the Auckland Seafood, St Jerome's Laneway and the International Buskers Festivals also have the choice of using public transport, Mr Parker says.
NOTE: The Victoria Park Tunnel project is one of seven roads of national significance, identified by the Government as essential to New Zealand's economic prosperity. It will be the first to be completed and will result in more reliable travel on the country's busiest route for freight and business travel.