The NZ Transport Agency says the official opening today of two upgrades to Auckland’s Northwestern Motorway kicks off a significant year in the city’s transport history.
The Lincoln Interchange and Te Atatu Interchange projects were officially opened by Transport Minister Simon Bridges at a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning.
They are the first of several improvement projects to be opened this year as part of the Government’s $2.4b Western Ring Route – designed to keep Auckland moving.
Both of these projects are crucial building blocks in the Western Ring Route, providing an additional route to State Highway 1 and the Harbour Bridge and changing the way people move around Auckland.
NZ Transport Agency Highways Manager Brett Gliddon says the improvements at Lincoln and Te Atatu are part of a series of projects being completed during the next year to ensure the Northwestern motorway is able to handle the growing demands from everyone who uses it – drivers, people using public transport and those who walk and cycle.
“Increasing the motorway from two to three lanes in each direction on this stretch of the motorway will help traffic to flow better leading to greater travel time reliability, and an efficient alternative route to use instead of State Highway 1,” says Mr Gliddon.
Transport Minister Hon Simon Bridges (centre) joined by students from Rutherford Primary School. From left to right Fergus Gammie, NZ Transport Agency Chief Executive; Nick Rogers, NZ Transport Agency Board; Vanessa Neeson, Henderson Massey Local Board Chair; Adrienne Young-Cooper NZ Transport Agency Board; Hon Simon Bridges, Transport Minister; Robert Jones, Fulton Hogan Chief Executive; Alfred Ngaro, National List MP; Brett Gliddon, Transport Agency Auckland Highway Manager.
The $145million upgrade of the Lincoln Interchange has widened and realigned the onramps and motorway exits to improve safety and traffic flow. There are new dedicated, purpose built bus lanes providing a greater level of service than before. The Northwestern Cycleway has also been extended and improved.
The $65million Te Atatu Interchange project has added an extra lane in each direction between Te Atatu and Lincoln Roads, new motorway on and off-ramps as well as raising and widening the Te Atatu overbridge.
The projects are two of five projects which will be complete the Western Ring Route – one of the Government’s seven roads of national significance to help promote economic growth. Once completed the 48-kilometre route will create a seamless motorway connection between Manukau and Albany along State Highways 20 (Southwestern), 16 (Northwestern() and 18 (Upper Harbour Highway).
Work will begin later this year on the Lincoln to Westgate project to tie into this just completed work at the Lincoln Road Interchange. It will include widening the Northwestern motorway to three lanes, improved on and off ramps, creating bus lanes and extending the Northwestern Cycleway.
Further projects currently underway as part of the Western Ring Route and due to be completed later this year include: