The NZ Transport Agency advises motorists travelling to Auckland Airport on State Highway 20A of plans for a big weekend of work on the Landing Drive roundabout 16 – 20 March.
Work started earlier this month to transform the roundabout into an eight lane intersection controlled by traffic lights because heavy traffic flows to and from the airport mean the roundabout does not function efficiently.
The changes are to improve safety, traffic flows and journey reliability, says the Transport Agency’s Senior Manager Project Delivery, Chris Hunt.
So far, the roundabout has been reduced in size with lanes re-aligned. The next big step is what the construction team is calling a “Super Weekend” to change the slip lane for traffic coming from the city and turning left off SH20A on to Verissimo Drive. The work includes a traffic switch, excavation, installing ducts and pits for traffic signal, laying concrete pavement and asphalt surfacing.
The team will work extended hours from 10pm on Friday 16 March until 5am on Tuesday 20 March to complete the work. The dates may change or be extended if the weather is bad. The slip lane into Verissimo Drive will be closed but motorists will still be able to enter Verissimo Drive from the roundabout.
The “Super Weekend” strategy is to achieve in 4 days and nights what would otherwise take several weeks with the Verissimo Drive slip lane closed for the entire time.
“We recognise there will be an impact on traffic flows. The Super Weekend will keep that disruption to the shortest possible timeframe, says Mr Hunt.
The Transport Agency asks drivers to be patient, approach the area with caution, keep to the speed limit and stay in your lane.
There are temporary traffic lights on George Bolt Memorial Drive and Verissimo Drive about 40 metres before the roundabout. Drivers still need to give way at the roundabout.
“”The team is working with Auckland Airport, Auckland Transport and the Auckland Traffic Operations Centre to minimise the effects , but travellers should allow extra time for journeys to and from the airport,” says Mr Hunt.
The transformation from roundabout to intersection is expected to take several months.
When completed the intersection will have 8 lanes for north and south-bound traffic flow with dedicated left and right turn lanes. Landing Drive and Verissimo Drive will also have dedicated turning and straight through lanes to improve the flow of traffic entering and exiting the industrial areas.
The upgrade of the Landing Drive roundabout is part of ongoing improvements to SH20A, which is the primary route to and from Auckland Airport and forms a strategic link between SH20 and SH16, the Airport business district and the greater Auckland area. Other improvements include the upgraded Kirkbride intersection, with its trench underpass separating local and airport traffic.
For more information on SH20A upgrades see https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh20a-to-airport/(external link)
The Landing Drive roundabout with Verissimo Drive “Super Weekend” work area highlighted in yellow