The NZ Transport Agency this morning celebrated the successful completion two months early of its upgrade to the Papakura Interchange on Auckland’s Southern Motorway (State Highway 1).
The $35m upgrade recognises the future growth in Papakura and Karaka over the next 20 years and as well as improving safety for all road users.
"This project was a vital one for the community to ensure that the future transport needs of the area, particularly Hingaia and Karaka are met" says the Transport Agency’s Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker.
"This is a busy interchange, and one that will get busier, and the improvements will increase safety - not just for drivers, but for walkers and cyclists too."
Mr Parker says it is a first step in a series of planned improvements along the Southern Motorway between Papakura and Manukau which includes widening the motorway and upgrading the Takanini interchange.
“The Southern corridor projects are significant in improving inter-regional connections on a key section of the state highway network between the Western Ring Route in the north and Waikato Expressway in the south. Alongside local network improvements, the planned upgrades will also support growth in the southern area identified in Auckland Council’s Auckland Plan.”
The Papakura Interchange project includes a new 3 lane 16.8 metre wide bridge over the motorway, with, for the first time, a shared walking and cycling path, and an additional northbound on-ramp and traffic signals at key intersections.
The completion of the project was officially marked with a plaque unveiling and planting led by local iwi, Ngati Tamaoho, together with community leaders, the Transport Agency and its contractor, HEB Construction.
Mr Parker also acknowledged the support the project team has had from the local community which was a key factor in being able to deliver the upgrade two months ahead of schedule.
"It was a challenging job making improvements in the middle of a busy interchange, and between two growing communities. However we must thank both the community and drivers who allowed us to get on with the work, and for their patience during times of disruption. Their support ensured that the onsite team upgrading the interchange as well as drivers and their passengers remained safe” says Mr Parker.