Work to improve the Papakura interchange on Auckland's Southern Motorway (State Highway 1) is ahead of schedule and the NZ Transport Agency says it will open the new northbound on-ramp early.
The NZTA's State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker, says although the winter weather is taking a turn for the worse, contractors took advantage of a dry autumn to make good progress on the upgrade.
"We had planned to have the new on-ramp ready in November, but the good news is that we are now aiming to deliver the improvements to road users a month earlier, in October," Mr Parker says.
The on-ramp will benefit drivers from Karaka and Hingaia, who will no longer need to turn right in front of on-coming traffic to join the motorway.
The new on-ramp is the first part of a $35m project at the Papakura interchange. Additional improvements include upgrades to other on and off ramps at the interchange, construction of a three lane bridge adjacent to the existing one spanning the motorway, and traffic signals at key intersections.
Mr Parker says that when the entire project is finished at the end of next year, there will be better and safer access to and from the Southern Motorway, and there will also be a shared pathway for walkers and cyclists across the interchange.
"The Hingaia Peninsula is a growth area for Auckland, and our work here at the interchange will help meet the future demands of a rapidly growing community," Mr Parker says.
Work on the Papakura Interchange upgrade started last March, and is scheduled to be finished by end of 2013. The project is being completed for the NZTA by HEB Construction, AECOM and Beca.