The NZ Transport Agency is asking drivers to take extra care next week when it starts removing the hoardings surrounding its trial site on the causeway on the Northwestern Motorway (State Highway 16) in Auckland.
“The hoardings will take several days to remove and could be a distraction on this busy section of the motorway network and we’re asking drivers to take care while we complete this work” says the NZTA’s acting State Highway Manager for Auckland and Northland, Steve Mutton.
The hoardings were erected last January as part of the trial construction work that is being undertaken to assist with design of the widening and raising of the causeway which is due to start in mid next year.
“The causeway runs besides the Motu Manawa - Pollen Island Marine Reserve and although the hoardings are going, two test sites will continue to ensure that we gather further design data for when the main causeway upgrade project starts. This is to ensure we have as little impact on the Marine Reserve as possible.” Mr Mutton says.
The more visible of the two is the large concrete structure sitting on the embankment, which is applying a heavy load to the stone columns in the mud.
The causeway upgrade is a 4.5 kilometre-long project between the Great North Road Interchange and the Te Atatu interchange. The existing six-lane causeway will be widened to provide additional lanes in both directions. The shoulder lanes for buses will be widened and extended, and there will be improvements to the pedestrian and cycleway beside the motorway. The causeway will also be raised to prevent flooding during extreme tidal conditions, and stormwater will be treated to a higher standard before it is discharged into the Waitemata Harbour.
The Causeway is a key part of the Western Ring Route - one of the Government’s seven roads of national significance to help promote economic growth. Once completed, the Western Ring Route will provide a strategic alternative to SH1, central Auckland and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. It will link with the Waterview Connection project and its new interchange at Great North Road - connecting SH16 with the Southwestern Motorway (SH20).