Project introduction

SH20A is the primary route to and from Auckland Airport and forms a strategic link between SH20 & SH16, the Airport Business District and the greater Auckland area. Kirkbride Rd interchange is open & the focus is on the upgrade of Landing Dr roundabout to an 8 lane intersection with traffic lights.

  • Estimated project cost

    $160 million +
  • Project type

    Road improvements
  • Project status


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Key features

SH20A is the primary route to and from Auckland Airport and forms a strategic link between the Western Ring Route (SH20 and SH16), the airport and the greater Auckland area.

What is the SH20A to Airport project?

As part of the Auckland Accelerated Programme, the NZ Transport Agency has secured additional Government funding to upgrade State Highway 20A. The State Highway will be upgraded with a new motorway interchange constructed at the Kirkbride Road intersection. 

State Highway 20A is the primary route to Auckland Airport and forms a strategic link between the Western Ring Route (SH20 and SH16), the airport and the greater Auckland area. SH20A is also a crucial connection to the regional ports and industrial areas and plays a significant role in connecting Auckland and a growing New Zealand.

The signalised intersection at SH20A/Kirkbride Road is heavily congested during peak travel periods, creating significant delays to traffic travelling to and from the airport. Projected population growth in Auckland and increasing volumes of air passengers will place additional pressure on SH20A in the future.

The NZ Transport Agency’s upgrade of SH20A will provide a safer, more reliable route to and from the airport and will increase freight efficiency through South Auckland.

The SH20A to Airport project includes the following improvements:

  • Upgrading SH20A to motorway standard (currently expressway standard)
  • Providing for future bus shoulder lanes
  • Constructing a trench to separate motorway and local traffic at the SH20A/Kirkbride Road intersection
  • Improving landscaping and lighting
  • Protecting the environment through enhanced stormwater treatment and drainage
  • Constructing a new, fully segregated, shared path adjacent to the motorway
  • Signalising Richard Pearse/Ascot Road and Westney Road/Kirkbride Road intersections
  • Integrating with future rail to and from the airport


Upgrading SH20A will improve journey reliability for traffic to and from Auckland Airport. Safety for all road users will be improved by separating motorway traffic from local traffic at the Kirkbride Road intersection.  This will reduce the high number of crashes as well as provide a much safer journey for pedestrians and cyclists crossing Kirkbride Road.

The upgraded corridor with new Kirkbride Road interchange will support future population and business growth in the area, cater for increasing numbers of travellers, and improve freight efficiency in South Auckland. Relocating cyclists from the existing state highway onto a new shared path alongside the upgraded corridor will improve safety for cyclists to and from the airport. Local cycling and pedestrian connections will also be improved with shared paths across SH20A at Kirkbride Road.

75% of visitors to New Zealand arrive at Auckland Airport.  The improved landscaping of SH20A will provide an enhanced arrival to New Zealand for visitors.  For the local community, the design of the Kirkbride Road bridge will reconnect the community currently severed by the State Highway. Lighting will improve safety at the intersection and over 750 metres of noise wall will provide benefits of reduced road noise to residents adjacent to the motorway.

Environmental benefits include improved stormwater drainage and treatment to protect the wider environment. Where possible, stormwater will be treated with planted swales and stormwater wetlands to protect local waterways.

SH20A to airport shared path now open

Find out more in the video below.

Our partners on this project