Smart motorway open days will help you get ready to get smart

With the launch of Wellington’s smart motorway just a few weeks away, the NZ Transport Agency is holding two open days where people will be able to have their questions answered by the project team.

Transport Agency Wellington highway manager Neil Walker says members of the smart motorway project  team will be at the Smart Motorway Information Site in the Johnsonville Mall between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 7 May, and from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday 12 May.

'This is a great opportunity to find out more about the smart motorway directly from the people  who have been working on the project,' Mr Walker says.

'As the first smart motorway in New Zealand, it will present a different driving environment than people will be used to.  The main difference is that drivers might see the speed limit change more frequently than in the past. Other changes include two new emergency stopping areas, and increased communication to drivers via the new overhead electronic message and lane control signs.'

The smart motorway will work best when drivers do their bit as well, which will include

•       adhering to the speeds and lane instructions on the variable message signs

•       minimising lane changing

•       merging like a zip.

The last weeks of construction include resealing the motorway between Aotea and Ngauranga.

“Traffic in the northbound direction is now running on a temporary running surface, laid immediately after milling out the old road surface.

'The temporary surface is a bit bumpy in places, but laying the new surface is due to get underway during the second week in May. The final surface will take three weeks of overnight work to complete. Once it’s completed, drivers will enjoy an excellent driving surface,' said Mr Walker.

The other big piece of work near completion is the upgrade of the State Highway 2 off-ramp at Ngauranga.

'The off-ramp will be closed overnight between 10pm and 5am on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 May for finishing touches', said Mr Walker. 'This includes installing signs, completing the new barrier and repairs to underground cables. People wanting to exit State Highway 2 during these closures times will need to carry on up State Highway 1, exit at Hawkestone St, turn right onto Tinakori Road and travel along the Hutt Road towards their destination.'

The smart motorway is one of several highway projects currently underway that are transforming the region’s transport system. It’ll operate from Johnsonville and Petone to the Terrace Tunnel. Using variable speed limits, which will be adjusted in real time in response to changing traffic conditions, the smart motorway will pace vehicles to smooth the traffic flow. This will result in safer journeys with more predictable travel times. It will also free up nearby roads for better public transport trips and for pedestrians and cyclists.

More information is available from our website link) and from our smart information centre in the Johnsonville Mall.

Smart motorway open days

Where: Smart motorway information site, in the Johnsonville Mall (next to Countdown)

When: 10am – 1pm, Saturday 7 May

             5-7pm, Thursday 12 May