The NZ Transport Agency is advising commuters to avoid Roscommon Road in Manukau City or risk long delays during the morning peak because of necessary changes to road layouts.
Access from Roscommon Road to the new State Highway 20-1 Motorway Extension is now closed and diversions for alternative routes are in place.
"The changes for people who use Roscommon Road as their usual route are significant, so it's important that motorists follow the signs giving directions on which way to go," says the NZTA's State Highways Manager for Auckland Tommy Parker. "They should also leave extra time for their journeys in the morning – particularly if they're travelling to the airport."
Mr Parker says the planned opening last weekend of the westbound lanes of the motorway extension gives people an alternative route. Drivers on Roscommon Road can divert along Wiri Station Road and Lambie Drive to access the westbound motorway lanes.
"Motorists using the diversion will still need to allow extra time for their journeys, but it will avoid the severe delays and long queues motorists on Roscommon Road and Noel Burnside Road experienced during this morning's peak," he says.
Mr Parker says it is essential to close access from Roscommon Road so that workers can safely complete the third and final section of the project, which joins the Southwestern [SH20] and Southern [SH1] motorways and provides a strategic link to Auckland International Airport.
"I can understand the frustration experienced in this morning's peak, but people need to drive with care and patience while we finish the project and can deliver the full benefits of the new motorway," he adds.
To help avoid delays and queues building up, the NZTA advises drivers to plan their route:
Mr Parker says that the NZTA thanks motorists for their patience and co-operation while this essential work continues.
The motorway forms the southern gateway to the Western Ring Route. When completed, the ring route will provide a 48 kilometre alternative to SH1 between Manukau and Albany via SH20, SH16 and SH18.
More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/manukauextension(external link) or on www.youtube.com(external link) keyword search: Manukau Extension. Alternatively freephone 0800 SH20-2-1 (0800 742 021).