Motorists will notice changes at the end of the Northwestern Motorway at Westgate from Monday 8 December when a new signalised roundabout comes into use.
Traffic lights on the approaches to and within the roundabout will keep traffic moving smoothly around the construction area until 2010, when the roundabout will be removed. During this time motorists should drive with caution, observe the signals and be ready to stop within the roundabout if needed. In the event of bad weather, the work will be completed overnight and the new roundabout opened on the morning of Tuesday 9 December.
The project team will be building a new bridge across the motorway within the roundabout. The bridge is built at ground level and then the earth is dug out from underneath for the motorway to pass under.
“The signalised roundabout is the best way to keep traffic flowing during the bridge building and reduces the number of road closures needed,” says NZTA acting regional manager Tommy Parker. “The design of the roundabout provides the most straightforward format for motorists approaching the intersection from all directions – they won’t have to change lanes or divert to other roads on their journey.”
Signalised pedestrian crossings will give safe passage for local school children through the junction. The road safety team at Waitakere City Council is working with West Harbour School to encourage pupils to ‘Go Up and Around’ instead of crossing the motorway.
Auckland’s first signalised roundabout was installed at the intersection of the Southwestern Motorway (SH20) and Hillsborough Road in January 2007 as part of construction of another link in the Western Ring Route, the SH20 Mt Roskill Extension. The success of the Mt Roskill roundabout encouraged NZTA to use the same approach at Westgate.
When opened in 2012 the two motorways will help to reduce travel times for motorists by providing a better connection between Waitakere City and North Shore City. The Hobsonville motorway also forms the northern link in the agency’s Western Ring Route. When completed, the ring route will give an alternative to SH1 between Albany and Manukau City via SH1, SH20, SH16 and SH18.
The NZTA thanks motorists for their patience and ongoing co-operation while construction of the new motorway continues.