There are big changes for North Shore drivers travelling on State Highway 18 (SH18) from today, as a new eastbound off-ramp at Paul Matthews Road opened this morning. The changes are necessary as part of the Northern Corridor Improvements (NCI) project.
Work took place overnight to change the road layout and all traffic heading east has now shifted through a new intersection at Paul Matthews Road.
The biggest change is that drivers must turn right at new traffic lights on the off-ramp, to head to Unsworth Heights, the SH1 motorway at Constellation Drive or to continue travel to East Coast Bays.
“This is a significant change to how people move around and as expected, we have seen queues on the off-ramp during the morning peak as everyone gets used to the new road layout” says Waka Kotahi National Manager Infrastructure Delivery Andy Thackwray.
“We’re advising that delays during peak hours will likely continue while people adjust to these changes and we’re asking people to plan ahead and allow extra time to travel.”
“We acknowledge this will be frustrating for road users, but the nature of this work means that some disruptions are unavoidable. When finished the Northern Corridor Improvements will provide much better transport options on the North Shore for freight, cars, pedestrians and cyclists.”
People are encouraged to avoid SH18 altogether and use alternative routes where possible, while drivers get used to these changes. For people travelling from the west to the city, they can use the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) instead.
Waka Kotahi is monitoring the new traffic signals and queues at the intersection in real time and we will be adjusting the signal phases to help improve traffic flows if required.
While the new road layout is permanent, the number of vehicles using this off-ramp will reduce when the north bound connection between SH18 and SH1 opens in approximately 18 months.
The change in layout is necessary so that work can continue to build the new motorway lanes and shared paths.
NCI will provide a transport upgrade for the Albany and North Shore community, with the Northern Busway being extended from Constellation to Albany Station.
It includes a new motorway connection between SH1 and SH18 and will open up access to the Western Ring Route and travel to the airport. It will deliver more than 7kms of walking and cycling paths and a wide range of local road and park connections.
Work is planned to be completed by the end of 2022.
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