The NZ Transport Agency today opened the SH20 Mt Roskill Extension motorway, the latest link in Auckland's Western Ring Route.
The NZ Transport Agency today opened the SH20 Mt Roskill Extension motorway, the latest link in Auckland’s Western Ring Route.
The 4.5 kilometre extension cost $201m and took four years to build.
The road was officially opened by the Minister of Transport Steven Joyce, during a ribbon cutting ceremony that also included the Mayor of Auckland City, John Banks, NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield and Bill Perry, Chief Executive of Fulton Hogan.
The four-lane extension will improve transport connections between south and west Auckland and in the future, between the airport and the central city. It will also reduce congestion on local roads.
“This motorway is a response from the NZ Transport Agency to the local community, who wanted some relief from through traffic filtering through their neighbourhoods,” says Wayne McDonald, the NZTA’s Auckland/Northland Regional Director.
The Mt Roskill Extension includes two interchanges at Hillsborough and Dominion Roads and four bridges to carry local traffic across the motorway at May, Dominion, Hayr and Hillsborough Roads. Two pedestrian/cyclist bridges at Keith Hay Park and Ernie Pinches Street provide safe access to five schools for more than 2,500 students who live in the area.
“We would like to thank the community for their support over the past four years. It has been a big contribution to a very successful project,” says Mr McDonald.
The motorway has provision for two bus shoulder lanes and rail in the future. A dedicated cycleway developed in conjunction with Auckland City Council alongside the motorway was also opened today. It is part of the Waikaraka cycleway and links to routes in Hillsborough and Mt Roskill.
Auckland City Mayor John Banks says the new motorway extension is a critical part of completing Auckland’s transport network, “This is a twenty-first century motorway which includes world class design that takes into account the special character of this area. Auckland City Council is pleased to have been involved in this significant project from the outset and I’m glad we can complement this piece of motorway with an equally high quality cycleway,” he says.
Distinctive patterns feature on the motorway’s retaining walls. They symbolise the linking of the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours through the motorway. Pre-cast concrete panels were imprinted with six different patterns making up a series of “waves.”
A ‘shotcrete’ method was used at Dominion Road Bridge to create an artificial exposed surface showing the dark red colour and form of the original basalt rock found during construction. The surface was sprayed with concrete and then shaped by hand using templates from the existing rock surface, to create a natural looking face. This surface provides a visual reference to the natural volcanic characteristics of Mt Roskill, which is located directly behind the bridge.
The motorway itself was designed to minimise the amount of excavation needed at the base of Mt Roskill, and the westbound lanes were raised to lessen the impact on the mountain.
The Mt Roskill Extension is part of the central section of the Western Ring Route. When completed, the route will link the Southwestern (SH20), Northwestern (SH16) and Upper Harbour Motorways (SH18) between Manukau and Albany – a 48 kilometre alternative to State Highway 1 through central Auckland.
Motorway opening information
The opening sequence of the new SH20 Mt Roskill Extension is as follows:
In the event of wet weather the westbound direction will be opened on the next fine night during the week of Monday 18 May.
For more information visit www.nzta.govt.nz/mountroskill(external link) or call 09 368 2000.
Background: SH20 Mt Roskill Extension