People will get the chance this Saturday (1 October) to leave a permanent mark on the NZ Transport Agency's new viaduct under construction at Newmarket in Auckland.
They will be able to sign their names inside a huge 80-tonne segment of concrete before it is hoisted into place to form a section of the new northbound viaduct on the Southern Motorway (State Highway 1).
“Inviting the community to the segment signing event is one way we can thank people for their patience while the new viaduct is under construction. It’s a great opportunity to leave your mark for history on what is an exciting and innovative transport project,” says the NZTA’s State Highways manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker.
People can sign their names at Mahuru Street in Newmarket between 12 and 2pm before the segment is lifted into place.
The NZTA has installed 97 of 234 concrete bridge sections for the new northbound viaduct. Twenty two more segments are due to be in place by the end of this week.
Construction on new northbound section began in July and it is due to open to traffic early next year.
The new southbound viaduct opened last year.
The Newmarket Connection: Viaduct Replacement Project replaces the existing viaduct, which was constructed in 1965.
Despite the technically challenging project, the NZTA and its partners (Leighton Contractors, Fulton Hogan, VSL, URS, BECA, Tonkin & Taylor and Boffa Miskell) are constructing a new viaduct and deconstructing (removing) the old one in stages while the busiest section of the Auckland motorway network remains opens.
This will ultimately reveal a brand new Newmarket Viaduct, standing approximately 15 metres to the north-east of where the original structure has stood for the last 50 years.
The new viaduct is seismically stronger and has more capacity for traffic.
It marks the southern end of a series of improvements to the Central Motorway Junction (CMJ). Together with the Victoria Park Tunnel under construction at the north end of the CMJ, it will help improve travel times and safety.
The NZTA reminds drivers a 70kph speed restriction remains on the viaduct during construction for the safety of workers and road users.
“Slowing down while driving through a live construction zone allows us to keep open the viaduct and reduce any disruption to drivers, Mr Parker says.
For more information on the Newmarket Connection: Viaduct Replacement Project, visit www.nzta.govt.nz/newmarketconnection(external link)