The first stage of the 20Connect project will include a number of early improvements to State Highway 20B (SH20B) which support public transport, cater for pedestrians and cyclists and improve access to growth areas adjacent to the state highways.
SH20B will be upgraded to provide additional lanes, in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek Bridge and SH20 to allow new 10-minute bus services between the airport, Puhinui and Manukau.
The priority lanes will integrate with improved transport facilities within the airport precinct, along Puhinui Road and at the upgraded Puhinui Station Interchange to provide people more reliable and timely travel choices to, from and around the airport area.
Other early improvements on SH20B to be delivered by 2021 include:
Walking and cycling opportunities along SH20B will be improved with a dedicated shared path that connects with walking and cycling facilities on Puhinui Road.
The shared use path will run on the north side between SH20 and Manukau Memorial Gardens, to provide access to the gardens, cross at the signalised intersection, and travel on the south side along SH20B to improve access to the future developments.
New pedestrian and cycling facilities will be added alongside the existing bridge over Waokauri Creek to allow for a continuous separated facility.
The path will be easy to access, well-lit at night and have improved wayfinding and line marking, making it safe and easy for users of all ages and abilities.
To allow for safe operation of the state highway, in some areas will be adding flexible safety barriers to the central median to separate oncoming vehicles, preventing head-on crashes.
If a vehicle hits these barriers, the high-tension wire cables flex, slowing down the vehicle, redirecting it away from the hazard. The barrier absorbs the impact energy, reducing the force on the occupants of the vehicles, resulting in less severe injuries than other safety barrier systems.
Results show a 70–80 percent reduction in road fatalities where they have been installed.
In addition, along some sections guard rail barriers will be installed on the outside of the priority lanes.
When we are building and improving roads we take the opportunity to improve any existing environmental treatments or install some where there are none.
The SH20B early improvements will improve the stormwater and drainage management a by treating the road run off for the full section of the work using planted swales and stormwater devices.
We are also looking at opportunities to improve planting and vegetation along SH20B using native species and removing pest plants and weeds. We are working closely with Mana Whenua on environmental protection.