The NZ Transport Agency reminds drivers to avoid the Southern Motorway (State Highway 1) southbound over Newmarket this weekend - 3 and 4 December - because of essential work on the two new viaducts.
Three of four southbound motorway lanes will be closed so that the NZTA can concrete the 1.1 metre-wide gap between the new northbound and southbound Newmarket viaducts to make one complete structure – an 18 hour-long operation known as the Stitch.
“The lanes need to be closed to help keep the new viaducts as still as possible to allow the concrete Stitch to set,” says the NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker. “The closures will cause disruption for southbound drivers and it is vital that people plan their journeys and allow extra time for their travel or avoid the viaduct while we work on this busy stretch of motorway.”
The closures start at 6pm on Saturday, 3 December, and the lanes will be re-opened by midday on Sunday, 4 December. The Stitch does not affect northbound lanes.
“There shouldn’t be any hold up for fans travelling on the motorway for Saturday’s Cold Chisel concert at the Vector Arena. However, the Stitch will be well under way when they are returning home and there will be signposted diversions from the Gillies Road off-ramp to the St Marks Road on-ramp to help keep any disruption to a minimum,” Mr Parker says.
“We will be doing everything we can to keep traffic flowing and appreciate the support of drivers as we complete necessary work to bring improved safety and travel times to a very busy section of the motorway network when the Newmarket project is completed.”
After the Stitch is completed, work will continue to prepare the new northbound half of the viaduct for traffic. Switching traffic from the existing northbound viaduct to its replacement will take place over Auckland Anniversary weekend, 28-30 January. This will involve closing all three northbound lanes of the motorway at Newmarket for 36 hours.
“It’s a critical few weeks for the Newmarket project - one of our most important undertakings as part of the NZTA’s Motorways Summer Season programme to improve the flow of traffic safely through central Auckland” says Mr Parker.