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Trench and landscaping2

Project introduction

The East West Link is a priority project for the long term growth of Auckland and the economic development of New Zealand.

Update on East West Link

March 2020

The East West Link is currently being reviewed to evaluate whether it aligns with the new priorities and strategic direction set out by the Government Policy Statement on land transport. This re-evaluation is part of the Transport Agency’s overall work to take a fresh look at transport investments across the country.

The complexity of the East West Link project and interrelationship with other regional works mean that the re-evaluation is still progressing.  Once this work has been completed, the Transport Agency will engage with key stakeholders and the community to provide more information on the project.

Read more about the re-evaluation

  • Estimated project cost

    $1.25-1.85 billion
  • Project type

    Infrastructure upgrade, Road improvements, Walking & cycling
  • Project status


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View a larger overview map [JPG, 57 KB]

The East West Link is one of the New Zealand Government’s top priority transport projects in Auckland. It is also one of the top priority projects identified in the ‘Auckland Plan’ – the planning guide for the city.

The project aims to:

  • Improve the resilience of our strategic transport network by providing a further connection between SH1 and SH20 and improving connections to rail and freight hubs
  • Improve travel times between the Onehunga - Penrose industrial area and State Highways 1 and 20
  • Improve walking and cycling routes between Mangere Bridge, Onehunga and Sylvia Park and access to Otahuhu
  • Provide more reliable bus journey times between State Highway 20 and Onehunga

About this project

As the engine room of New Zealand’s industrial and manufacturing economy, the Onehunga-Penrose area is a key piece in the country’s transport network. Many of the largest distribution and logistics facilities are based in the area because it is close to state highways, the rail network, the airport and the port. The area employs approximately 68,000 people and contributes $4.6 billion a year to Auckland’s economy.

However the current transport connections into and through the area are either incomplete or highly congested. This makes it slower and more expensive to move freight and these costs are passed on to customers. It also makes it harder to local residents and businesses to get around. With freight movements expected to double by 2035, it’s important to start building solutions now to address this. The project will provide the necessary infrastructure to unlock the restrictions to growth and support Auckland’s future prosperity.

East West Link walking and cycling video

Exhibit 3: Video showing SH20 underpass.

Features and benefits

  • Features
    • New transport link on northern side of the Māngere Inlet between SH20 at Onehunga and SH1 at Mt Wellington
    • Improvements on SH1 through to Princes Street
    • Includes connections to key local roads at Galway Street, Captain Springs Road, Rail Freight Hub, Hugo Johnston Drive and Great South Road
    • A new walking and cycling path connecting all the way from Māngere Bridge through to Sylvia Park and completing the shared path between Māngere Bridge and Taumanu Reserve
    • New walking and cycling connections across Ōtāhuhu Creek, improving routes between East Tamaki, Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park
    • A restored coastal edge, including new headlands and wetlands to improve the natural character of this area. This will treat stormwater run-off from wider Onehunga (improving water discharging to the Harbour)
    • Constructing the road on a bund to contain leachate being discharged from the closed landfills in the area
  • Benefits
    • More resilient and reliable connections to SH1 and SH20, improving travel times for the wider area and enabling economic efficiency for businesses, motorists and freight
    • Providing capacity and local road access to the Onehunga Wharf which will enable its future development
    • Creating better and more useable access for the community to the foreshore
    • Creating a more natural coastal edge and restoring habitat for wildlife
    • New and safer walking and cycling routes including a dedicated route from Onehunga to Sylvia Park
    • More reliable journey times for buses travelling between Māngere Bridge and Onehunga
    • Supporting the growing Onehunga Town Centre by removing through traffic on Neilson Street (e.g. up to 27,000 less vehicles a day on the road through the town centre).