NZTA says avoid Northwestern Motorway from tonight


The NZ Transport Agency reminds drivers to avoid using Auckland's Northwestern Motorway (State Highway 16) at the Te Atatu Road and Lincoln Road interchanges from nine o'clock tonight, as it closes a large section of the highway to demolish an old bridge over the weekend.

The city bound motorway lanes between the Brigham Creek roundabout and Lincoln Road off-ramp, and the westbound lanes between the Te Atatu Road off-ramp and the Lincoln Road on-ramp will be closed from tonight until midday on Sunday (15 January). .

The NZTA's acting State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Steve Mutton, says the agency is aiming to cause the least amount of disruption, but people travelling to weddings and other events this weekend should plan their travel well ahead and allow extra time for their journeys. Detour routes will be in place as well as live traffic updates on radio and extra roadside electronic signs to advise drivers of conditions.

"We're recommending that drivers stay away from this section of the Northwestern Motorway altogether to avoid severe delays," Mr Mutton says.

Drivers should use the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the Northern Motorway (SH1) and the  Upper Harbour Motorway (SH18) for travel between west and north-west Auckland, and the city and destinations south.

Construction crews will work around the clock to demolish the 45 year old Selwood Road Bridge piece by piece, as part of the Lincoln Road Interchange improvements project. The motorway lanes will be opened on Sunday, before traffic increases as more people return from their Christmas break.

The new bridge will be fully completed in 2013, with seven lanes for traffic and a shared path for walkers and cyclists. Ramp improvements will improve capacity, safety and trip reliability. The $100M improvements are part of a suite of works to complete the Western Ring Route road of national significance and provide a motorway alternative to SH1 to improve travel for people and freight in Auckland.