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Extended bus shoulder marks milestone to improve congestion on Auckland’s Northern Motorway

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The opening of a new section of continuous bus shoulder on Auckland’s Northern Motorway completes the final phase in a project to improve congestion at one of the city’s significant bottlenecks.

The 1km southbound bus shoulder between Greville Road and Constellation Drive on the Northern Motorway (SH1) is the last section of the Upper Harbour Highway to Greville Road widening project aimed at addressing pressure on SH1 and the Albany metropolitan centre due to the area’s population and housing growth.

It is the first construction project to be completed by the NZ Transport Agency as part of the government’s accelerated programme of works to improve Auckland’s transport infrastructure.

The bus shoulder will improve journey times and reliability for morning peak time commuters on the Northern Express busway. It will allow citybound buses to take priority and avoid merging with other peak time traffic on the motorway, before they enter the dedicated Northern busway corridor at Constellation Bus Station.

The first stage of the project opened before Christmas and included the widening of SH1 Northbound to three lanes, an upgrade of the intersection at Greville Road, and development of a new shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.

“The Upper Harbour Highway to Greville Road widening project is the first stage of our works on the Northern Corridor Improvements project,” says NZ Transport Agency Auckland and Northland Highways Manager Brett Gliddon.

“The improvements made in this area will provide extra capacity and relief for the next few years while we plan, design and build the larger Northern Corridor Improvement project’s long term infrastructure.

“Data on SH1 Northbound is already showing substantial improvements since the widening to three lanes. The opening of this southbound bus shoulder will help ensure journey reliability for bus passengers while we continue plans for an extension of the dedicated busway.

“The Transport Agency thanks morning bus passengers and our colleagues at Auckland Transport bus services for their patience during the bus shoulder works period.”

The Upper Harbour Highway to Greville Road widening project has been delivered by Auckland-based infrastructure company’s HEB Construction and Beca.

The Northern Corridor Improvements package plans to build a direct motorway to motorway connection. It will join SH1 and an improved Upper Harbour Highway with the upgraded Northwestern (SH16) motorway, providing an alternative route from the North Shore to Auckland Airport, West Auckland and Manukau. It also aims to improve capacity around Albany and on SH1 and improve local transport options including creating better walking and cycling connections. There are plans to extend the dedicated busway to Albany Station.

Another round of public consultation on the plans for the Northern Corridor Improvements will begin in the next few months.

Find out more about the Upper Harbour Highway to Greville project here:http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/project.html?ID=239
Find out more about the wider Northern Corridor Improvements project here:
http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/project.html?ID=255(external link)

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