The layout of roads and footpaths at the busy Victoria Street West and Franklin Road intersection in central Auckland are being changed so that construction of the NZ Transport Agency’s Victoria Park tunnel can start at the intersection.
To minimise disruption to drivers and pedestrians, the intersection will be closed overnight on Sunday, 9 May, to allow contractors to make the layout changes in time for people to use them the following morning.
Victoria Street West will loop into Victoria Park, while the bottom of Franklin Road will turn in front of the Birdcage tavern and have its entry/exit on Union Street. The changes will be in place for approximately six months. Footpaths are also changing to give pedestrians safe routes around the work site.
NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland & Northland, Tommy Parker, says the agency’s priority is to ensure that motorists and pedestrians can continue to have safe access through the work site.
“The intersection is a live construction zone and we urge everyone using it to do so with extra care,” Mr Parker added. “It is going to be the scene of intensive activity over the next few months as critical underground services are relocated, the tunnel construction ramps up, and the Birdcage is strengthened ready for its temporary move up Franklin Road later in the year.”
Mr Parker said the NZTA and its partners in the Victoria Park Tunnel Alliance appreciate the support they have from their neighbours during construction of a challenging inner-city project and everything possible is being done to reduce disruptions.
‘We’ve ensured that the new intersection layout, for example, will not affect people’s access to the New World supermarket,” he added.
The nights of Monday and Tuesday, 10 and 11 May, are contingency nights if the weather is wet or there are uncompleted works.
When it is completed in 2012, the Victoria Park Tunnel project will help ease congestion and improve safety on one of the busiest sections of the Auckland motorway network. The NZTAs had designed the tunnel to carry three lanes of motorway traffic northbound, and it will reconfigure the existing Victoria Park viaduct from its present two lanes north/two lanes south layout to carry fours lanes of southbound traffic.