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Road works pave the way for electric trains


Works have started on the motorway improvements needed to give Pukekohe and Papakura communities access to electric trains.

The enabling works at SH1’s Drury interchange, are the first step in the project that will see the existing motorway bridges replaced with new, higher bridges necessary for electric trains and additional rail lines to run underneath.

The SH1 Papakura to Drury project is part of the $2.7 billion transport improvements programme that Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail are delivering for South Auckland. The works are funded through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, the Government’s investment in better and safer transport choices for growing communities.

The National Manager Infrastructure Delivery for Waka Kotahi, Mark Kinvig says the works are key to delivering the wider plan to provide better, safer and more sustainable transport choices for South Auckland.

“Higher motorway bridges must be built over the North Island Main Trunk railway to enable KiwiRail to deliver the Papakura to Pukekohe rail electrification project and additional rail lines in future,” said Mr Kinvig.

Construction of the new bridges will initially be carried out beside the existing Drury southbound on-ramp, to reduce disruption to motorists before main construction and upgrade of the interchange begins in mid-2023.

The interchange upgrade will include additional lanes on Great South Road, improved environmental outcomes including stormwater treatment and better access for over-height vehicles.

It will also include new shared paths along and under the interchange, which will make it easier and safer for people to walk and bike around Drury.

“The SH1 Papakura to Drury improvements will support existing communities and the 120,000 additional people who are expected to make the area their home over the next 30 years,” said Mr Kinvig.

Further north, construction continues at pace on Stage 1A of the project near Papakura interchange along both shoulders, in the median and on the replacement and upgrade of the Park Estate Road overbridge. The new bridge will provide a safer connection to new housing areas and a new school under construction on the western side of the motorway.

Construction of a new noise wall (on the eastern side of SH1 between Beach and Park Estate Roads) is nearing completion and will make a significant difference for neighbouring residents in the Rosehill area. 

KiwiRail is delivering the Papakura to Pukekohe rail electrification project along with three new Drury stations and a third main rail line.

Other New Zealand Upgrade Programme projects that are part of the South Auckland transport plan include a new third main rail line, Drury local transport network improvements and a re-scoped northern section of Mill Road focused on safety.

Papakura to Drury key features

  • Improved highway access, safety, resilience and capacity on SH1 between Papakura and Drury, including 4.5km of new traffic lanes in each direction.
  • Wide shoulders to enable future bus services.
  • 4km of new paths between Papakura and Drury for people walking and cycling, extending the 4.5km Southern Path between Papakura and Takanini (opened in May 2021).
  • Interchange improvements at Papakura, including a new southbound on-ramp
  • Interchange upgrade at Drury, enabling rail electrification, future-proofing for additional rail lines, and improved access for over-dimension vehicles on Great South Road.
  • Improved safety barriers, streetlighting and noise mitigation.
  • Improved stormwater treatment and environmental outcomes.