The NZ Transport Agency will close State Highway 1 between the Auckland Harbour Bridge and the Central Motorway Junction on five consecutive nights starting on Sunday 12 December for essential work associated with the Victoria Park Tunnel project.
The motorway will be closed between approximately 10.30pm and 5am.The Fanshawe Street motorway on ramp, a key exit from the central business district for traffic going north, will also be closed. Detours will be in place for north and southbound drivers.
The NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker, says the work is critical to the Victoria Park Tunnel project’s objective of removing the last major traffic bottleneck on Auckland’s central motorway system.
“We are doing the work at night when traffic volumes are light so that any disruption on the motorway is kept to a minimum,” says Mr Parker.
A major motorway sign gantry will be installed in St Marys Bay during Sunday night’s closure. On the following nights, signs will be shifted from two existing gantries, which will then be removed next Wednesday and Thursday nights.
“The gantry is essential to the safe operation of the motorway, particularly approaching and leaving the harbour bridge,” Mr Parker says.
During the nightly closures, southbound traffic will be required to leave the motorway at the Shelly Beach Road off ramp and rejoin it at Hobson Street. Northbound traffic will be required to leave the motorway at Nelson Street and detour to the Curran Street on ramp.
Traffic leaving the central business district to go north will be diverted from the Fanshawe Street on ramp to Curran Street in Ponsonby.
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. The tunnel will provide three lanes of northbound traffic and the existing Victoria Park Viaduct will be reconfigured to carry four lanes of southbound traffic. Through St Marys Bay, the motorway is being widened by one lane in each direction. There will also be a dedicated city bound bus lane. The NZTA is charged with delivering the RoNS programme, one of New Zealand’s biggest even infrastructure investments, within the next 10 years.