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Work underway on key road for Rugby World Cup 2011

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Work to deliver the first stage of the new Newmarket Viaduct in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup has begun, with the NZ Transport Agency starting enabling works at each end of the project.

Work to deliver the first stage of the new Newmarket Viaduct in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup has begun, with the NZ Transport Agency starting enabling works at each end of the project.

The enabling works involve two busy connections with the Southern Motorway - the Gillies Avenue off-ramp and the St Marks Road on-ramp - which both have to be realigned to accommodate the first stage of construction: the viaduct's new four-lane southbound carriageway.

"We're committed to keeping disruptions on this critical part of our motorway network to a minimum and we’ll be doing everything we can to keep Auckland moving while we replace the existing viaduct with a stronger and safer one that has more capacity for traffic," said Tommy Parker, the NZTA's Northern State Highway Manager.

The NZTA's innovative plan for the project, known as the Newmarket Connection project, will see the old viaduct replaced in stages so that traffic flow will be maintained on the Southern Motorway.

Stage one - building the four-lane southbound viaduct on the harbour or north-east side of the existing structure - will be finished in time for the World Cup.

"Four lanes instead of the three we have now will increase capacity at an important time when Auckland is playing host to thousands of visitors in town for the rugby," said Mr Parker. 

A development separate from the Newmarket Connection project will see the viaduct's four southbound lanes extended as far south as the Green Lane interchange on the Southern Motorway. 

Once traffic has been moved onto the new southbound bridge, stage two of the project will see the existing southbound carriageway deconstructed to make way for three new northbound lanes. The existing northbound carriageway will then also be removed.

To complete the transformation, the two new bridges will then be joined together to form a new viaduct spanning Newmarket that can carry more traffic more quietly, and is strong enough to withstand a 1: 2500 year earthquake. The project is scheduled to take four years at a total cost of $215m.  

"All of these improvements will provide significant benefits for road users and the Newmarket community," Mr Parker said.

“Beyond releasing the traffic flow benefits of previous upgrades to the Central Motorway Junction, an important legacy of the Newmarket Connection project will be the platform it provides for urban design initiatives that can extend the spirit of Newmarket further south along Broadway,” he added.

Given the location and complexity of the works, the NZTA advises that there will be some disruption on surrounding roads over the duration of the project. Every effort will be made to minimise inconvenience, and the NZTA thanks motorists and residents in advance for their patience while this important work is carried out.

The Newmarket Connection project is being delivered for the NZTA by NGA Newmarket: the same Alliance of companies that has successfully completed the Northern Gateway Toll Road north of Auckland, ahead of schedule. This transfer of knowledge and experience has already seen significant time and cost savings realised through Newmarket Connection’s design phase. 

A 24-hour freephone number, 0508 CONNECT (266 6328), has been set up to field enquiries, with the project visitor centre, located at 5B Mahuru St, scheduled to open at the end of April.

For more information on the Newmarket Connection project, please visit www.nzta.govt.nz/newmarketconnection(external link) or freephone 0508 CONNECT (266 6328).

Newmarket Connection: Quick Q&A

What is the Newmarket Viaduct?

The Newmarket Viaduct, often referred to as the Newmarket flyover or overpass, is the motorway bridge that carries over 160,000 vehicles each day over Newmarket. It was completed and opened in 1966.

Why is the Viaduct being replaced, not retro-fitted?

The decision to replace, rather than retrofit, was taken after detailed analysis revealed significant opportunities regarding environmental sustainability, seismic capacity, construction impacts, timeframes and likely benefits to both the road user and local community.

Where will it be?

The new viaduct will be located 13 metres immediately to the north-east  of the one it replaces – and be 3 metres wider. The project therefore also incorporates a realignment of on- and off-ramps at both ends of the project.

How long will it take?

Anticipated project duration is 49 months, with completion scheduled for December 2012. The project will tie in with the lane widening project immediately to the south, allowing the NZTA to ultimately provide four lanes south as far as Greenlane.

How much is it costing?

The total project cost is $215m. To ensure value for money, the fixed price was reconciled with an independent estimator’s valuation. The price is higher than previously quoted figures, as it includes provision for increased costs as a result of price escalation in 2008.

Who is NGA Newmarket?

NGA Newmarket is the second generation of the Northern Gateway Alliance of companies that delivered the Northern Gateway Toll Road project, and includes: NZTA; Fulton Hogan; Leighton Contractors; Beca; VSL; URS; Tonkin & Taylor; and Boffa Miskell.

The appointment of NGA Newmarket allows the NZTA to retain the skills, knowledge and experience gained from the bridge structures on the Northern Gateway project. This not only allows the NZTA to realise a value proposition, but other benefits such as the management of construction effects and site safety. 

Please refer to the project’s website for more information, including a full list of FAQs:
www.nzta.govt.nz/newmarketconnection(external link)

For all media enquiries please contact:

Ewart Barnsley
Communications and Stakeholder Manager - Auckland
DDI  09 3682142
Mob  027 2137616
Email  ewart.barnsley@nzta.govt.nz

High resolution photos and graphics are available.

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