NZTA needs to close motorway for big lift


The NZ Transport Agency is advising drivers that there will be a full night-time closure of State Highway 1 in central Auckland on Monday [1 November] so that a gantry to support a motorway sign can be lifted into place.

The motorway in both directions will be closed through St Marys Bay from 11.30pm, and it will re-open at 5am on Tuesday morning.

The gantry is the first of three to be installed as part of the Victoria Park Tunnel Project.  The motorway is being widened to provide more lanes through St Marys Bay and the existing gantries are not long enough to extend over the new lanes.

The NZTA's State Highways Manager for Auckland, Tommy Parker, says that to minimise disruption to drivers and nearby residents, the gantry will be assembled first before it is lifted as one piece.

"A well planned operation is in place to ensure that the lift can be achieved in a single night with minimal noise for nearby residents, and with the motorway reopened in time for the morning peak," says Mr Parker.  "Night-time traffic volumes are low and the only real risk is high winds, in which case the lift would be delayed for safety reasons.

"Constructing an improved motorway in the middle of the city is a challenging project, and we and our Victoria Park partners are grateful for the support we get from the surrounding community and from drivers," says Mr Parker.

Detours for night-time traffic will be in place.  Southbound traffic on SH1 will leave the motorway at the Shelly Beach Road off-ramp and detour to Hobson Street.  Northbound traffic will leave the motorway at Nelson Street and divert to the Auckland Harbour Bridge through Curran Street.

Partial motorway closures will be in place on the following nights next week so that the installation work can be completed and the existing gantries dismantled.

Mr Parker reminds motorists that further south on SH1 two of the three lanes on the Newmarket Viaduct will also be closed overnight on Monday, 1 November, for necessary work connected with the construction of the replacement viaduct and the widening of the motorway to Greenlane.

When completed, both the Victoria Park Tunnel Project - which is one of the seven Roads of National Significance - and the Newmarket Connection Project will ease congestion on one of the busiest sections of Auckland's motorway network and provide safer and more reliable journeys.