The NZ Transport Agency says that construction on the SH18 Hobsonville Deviation and SH16 Brigham Creek Extension motorway project is on target to be completed by September - six months ahead of schedule.
Construction on the $220m project, which is part of the Western Ring Route motorway alternative to State Highway 1, is progressing at pace and opening the new motorway ahead of schedule will be great news for Aucklanders, says the NZTA's State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker.
"Winter weather may still have an impact on construction deadlines as we work towards placing the final surfacing, but we are optimistic that we can meet the September target," Mr Parker says.
"The project will have a significant impact on congestion in north-west Auckland and will shorten travel times for people and freight between the West and the North Shore and make journeys more reliable and safer," he says. "Traffic on Hobsonville Road is expected to reduce from almost 40,000 to 6,550 per day when the motorway opens."
Mr Parker says access will also be improved to the expanding Rodney area, and the motorway has been designed to cope with the expected urban growth in north-west Auckland.
The project has two motorway components: a six kilometre-long , four-lane Hobsonville motorway connecting to the Upper Harbour Bridge and Greenhithe sections of SH18 with the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) to the west, and the three kilometre-long four-lane extension of the Northwestern from Westgate to a new roundabout at Brigham Creek Road.
Direct access from the motorway to the new "Hobsonville Point" housing development is being created at the new Squadron Drive Interchange. The development aims to build 3,000 residential houses, new primary and secondary schools and community facilities progressively over the next ten to fifteen years.
Mr Parker says a combination of construction innovation and fine summer weather had enabled the NZTA's contractors, HEB Construction and project designers Aurecon, to bring completion forward but plenty of work remains to be done.
Over the next few months the final surface on the new motorway lanes will be laid, noise walls and road signs erected and 200,000 native shrubs and trees planted along the motorway route. Minor tie-in and intersection work will also take place after the motorway project is opened.
The SH18 Hobsonville Deviation and SH16 Brigham Creek Extension project completes the northern stretch of the Western Ring Route and brings the finish of the new motorway one stage closer to being completed by 2020. The alternative route will improve connections between Manukau in the south, Auckland International Airport, Waitakere and the North Shore, and ease congestion on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
The NZTA's is now seeking planning permission and resource consents from a Board Of Inquiry to complete the final section of the route - the Waterview Connection and associated improvements to the Northwestern Motorway.
The Western Ring Route is one of the Government's seven roads of national significance to support and enable economic growth for the country.
For more information visit www.nzta.govt.nz/hobsonville(external link)