Motorists heading north on Auckland’s Southern Motorway will notice changes on Monday (1 April) that are designed to improve their driving experience through the Takanini interchange.
The existing northbound lanes through the interchange will be straightened and the concrete barrier between the two lanes will be removed. There will also be new road markings.
“Motorists travelling north will notice there’s no longer a deviation around a protected safe work zone at the side of the interchange, so they’ll now have an improved, straighter run,” says the NZ Transport Agency’s Acting Senior Project Delivery Manager, Karen Boyt.
“The removal of the concrete barrier between the lanes also means there will be a wider view of the road ahead, which should help make that part of the journey easier.”
The lane realignment follows the opening in February of the new Takanini on ramp and merge lane as part of the wider Southern Corridor Improvements project.
“Motorists have been enjoying the benefits of less congestion and significantly improved travel times as the longer merge lane has eased a significant bottleneck for traffic moving through and getting on to the motorway at Takanini.”
Ms Boyt says the existing lane layout has been providing a safe working area for crew constructing the on ramp and motorway shoulder, but it’s no longer needed.
“Now the working area on the left side of the motorway can be restored as a traffic lane, and the alignment straightened to make it safer and easier to navigate.”
The work focus will now shift to the other side of the northbound lanes.
“A new dedicated safe work area will be created for construction of the motorway’s permanent central median barrier between the north and southbound lanes.”
These changes will be made on Sunday night (31 March) in time for Monday morning commuters. Electronic signs on the motorway will advise northbound motorists of the changes, which could be postponed if poor weather prevents the painting of new lane markings.
“Drivers are reminded to drive with care and keep to the temporary speed limit through the work area to ensure the safety of our work crews and all other motorists.”
“We understand that growing traffic volumes and construction work has been frustrating for people using this stretch of motorway and we’re really pleased they are now experiencing the benefits of all this work.”
The final configuration through the Takanini Interchange will be three lanes in each direction, opening in late 2019. The project is opening in stages and is due to be fully finished by the end of 2019.
The Southern Corridor Improvements Project covers a stretch of SH1 from the SH20/SH1 connection at Manukau down to the Papakura interchange in the south. The project includes additional lanes in both directions and the upgraded Takanini interchange. There’s also a 4.5km shared use path for pedestrians and cyclists between Papakura and Takanini, including a prominent walking and cycling bridge connection over the motorway to connect the Papakura and Karaka communities.
For more on the project https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/southern-corridor-improvements/(external link)
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