Work to start on Auckland’s first NZ Upgrade Programme road project


The first of the government’s NZ Upgrade Programme projects in Auckland will go into construction within weeks with the award of a contract to widen the Southern Motorway from Papakura to Drury.

This is a significant milestone for the NZ Upgrade Programme (NZUP) which is investing $6.8 billion in road, public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure to get our cities moving, save lives and boost productivity in growth areas. The programme provides a pipeline of jobs and work for the construction sector, with 700 people already working on projects. 

Waka Kotahi is delivering 20 major NZUP projects for the Government, including four in Auckland, that support a shift to greater transport choice. Waka Kotahi is also delivering 19 regional state highway projects with funding of $88.25 million. 

This section of work is the first stage of the SH1 Papakura to Drury South project which delivers a range of transport choices by providing a third lane in each direction, an adjacent path for walking and people on bikes, wide shoulders for future bus services and improved local road connections across the motorway.  

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has announced Fulton Hogan as its construction contractor. Fulton Hogan brings significant experience in building major roading infrastructure in live traffic environments, including the Christchurch Northern Corridor and SH20B Early Improvements projects currently being constructed near Auckland Airport. 

“Fulton Hogan’s experience will help deliver the motorway improvements efficiently, with as little disruption as possible to road users and communities alongside the motorway. Managing their competing interests was a key consideration when choosing the contractor,” says Waka Kotahi National Manager Infrastructure Delivery, Andrew Thackwray. 

Fulton Hogan Project Director Andrew Johnson says his team is delighted to have the opportunity to work with Waka Kotahi to further improve the Southern Motorway. Fulton Hogan will use ways of working developed on the Northern Corridor Improvements Project to minimise traffic switches which can cause driver confusion and “ghost” line markings, so that motorway users can maintain their travel times wherever possible. 

“We enjoy challenging jobs like this that interface with many people at many different levels. We know that there will be a lot of interest in what we are doing and we’re looking forward to engaging with mana whenua, the local community, our neighbours, and road users while we build the project.” 

The Papakura to Drury South project is a key part of Waka Kotahi developing  a safer, more resilient transport system that will improve travel choices and reliability and facilitate growth and economic prosperity in south Auckland, where 120,000 people will make their home in the next 30 years. 

It will also treat one hundred percent of all stormwater runoff from the motorway, and the additional lanes being provided are being investigated for potential use for T3 and/or freight. 

The first stage of construction awarded to Fulton Hogan covers works within the existing motorway boundaries from the north side of Papakura interchange to the BP motorway service centre north of Otūwairoa (Slippery) Creek. It will extend capacity improvements north of Papakura delivered by the Southern Corridor Improvements project and includes the replacement of the Park Estate Road overbridge, and a new noise wall on the eastern side of SH1 between Papakura interchange and the overbridge. 

Future stages will include interchange improvements at both Papakura and Drury and a new interchange at Drury South.  Several motorway bridges will be replaced, being raised or widened to allow for extras lanes underneath, provide for the electrification of the Papakura to Pukekohe rail line, allow for oversize vehicles and to respond to flooding risks. 

As construction on the first stage gets underway, we are working towards lodging consent applications for the next stage of the project at Drury interchange. Consent applications will also be made for further work alongside the first stage, where a shared path for walking and people on bikes will be added on the western side of the motorway. This will then connect to the shared path nearing completion to the north of the project. 

About the New Zealand Upgrade Programme 

Waka Kotahi is delivering 20 major projects, including four in Auckland, for the NZ Upgrade Programme that support a shift to greater transport choice with a balanced investment in public transport, new or upgraded roads, walking and cycling. 

The programme is already supporting jobs and the economy, with about 700 people developing projects and getting them ready for construction. The number of jobs will grow as more contracts are awarded to complete project designs, finalise construction plans and get workers on site to start construction. 

Significant progress has been made on the NZ Upgrade Programme since it was established, with several construction projects, including Papakura to Drury South, starting construction this year. We’ve engaged with communities for their input to further develop designs and preferred routes as well as getting projects ready for construction. 

The programme will play a vital role in helping to stimulate the economy and support the country as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19. 

To find out more about the SH1 Papakura to Drury South project, go to link)

For NZUP’s Auckland projects, see link)

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