Transport Minister Simon Bridges has turned the first sod on the Southern Corridor Improvements project to mark the start of construction on the second of four Government accelerated transport projects for the Auckland region.
The NZ Transport Agency’s $268 million project extends from Manukau to Papakura along State Highway 1 and will improve safety and journey reliability on Auckland’s Southern Motorway.
Leighton Contractors will start establishment work from November with construction beginning in February.
Project completion is expected in 2018 however extra southbound lanes will be completed in early 2017 to coincide with the opening of the Waterview tunnel and ensure there’s enough capacity for the additional traffic entering SH1 from SH20.
The NZ Transport Agency’s Auckland Highways Manager, Brett Gliddon, says the project is a critical piece of the network which supports current investment in the Western Ring Route and the regional connections south of Auckland.
“The Southern Corridor is a key route connecting Auckland to the rest of the country. The project will support the rapid population growth that is expected in south Auckland over the next 30 years, while meeting the immediate needs of the city.”
“The extra lanes will ease the existing bottlenecks and help provide more consistent journey times for the thousands of motorists and those moving freight through this route every day. The upgrade of the Takanini Interchange will provide a new freight lane and ramps for better traffic flow, easier access to the motorway and will also improve safety for all road users including vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.”
Walking and cycling improvements will also form a key part of the improvements project. A new 4.5km off road, 3m wide shared-use pedestrian and cycleway is proposed to run along the corridor from Papakura to Great South Road. The project will upgrade 16 bridges and construct 6 new structures including a shared user path across the Pahurehure Inlet and the new Pescara Point Bridge; a new walking and cycling facility that will connect the local cycle network and Karaka Harbourside and Papakura communities.
Environmental benefits include low impact and sustainable stormwater treatment methods, salt marsh restoration at the Pahurehure Inlet and significant planting that incorporate eco-sourced indigenous species.
The Southern Corridor Improvements project includes:
For more information on the Southern Corridor Improvements project visit:
Western Ring Route: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/the-western-ring-route/
Waterview Connection: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/the-western-ring-route/waterview-connection/(external link)