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Finishing Touches to Te Irirangi Drive Underway

Manukau City Council

The finishing touches are being applied to Te Irirangi Drive three weeks out from the time the road will be fully open to traffic.

Pictured from the top of one of the highway’s pedestrian overbridges is a view of contractors asphalting the surface of Te Irirangi Drive, on the section which runs from Smales Road to Ormiston Road. This section of the road is using a temporary surfacing product designed to reduce noise. Final sealing will take place in October when the road surface has compacted sufficiently.

Mayor of Manukau, Sir Barry Curtis is delighted with the progress that has been made on construction.

“When this road is completed it will take around 15 minutes to get from Botany Downs across town to the Auckland International Airport” Sir Barry says. “Te Irirangi Drive is expected to carry between 15, 000 and 20,000 vehicles per day just after opening and to cater for some 40,000 vehicles within the next few years. This will take an enormous amount of pressure off the Pakuranga Highway, East Tamaki Road and surrounding residential roads.
“Te Irirangi Drive is one of three major roading works we need to undertake to complete Manukau’s roading network and one of the best investments we have made toward the growth of our City.”

Throughout the contract, Manukau City Council’s main contractor Fulton Hogan has worked hard to ensure the road is open to traffic as soon as practically possible.

Les Barker, Project Manager for the Te Irirangi Drive Project and main contractor Fulton Hogan, says the section being opened to traffic will include works done in the final stages of the project.

“There have been some amendments to roading works along the Smales Road to Ti Rakau Drive section, to tie in with the major amount of new business that’s opening up along there. An extra 2 km of works have been done around that area, particularly around Smales and East Tamaki Rd. There has also been upgrading work done on Ormiston Rd.

The 7.8 km East Tamaki Corridor Arterial Route (ETCART) has been named after a local paramount Chief Tara Te Irirangi. The full length will be opening early April – in keeping with the project’s aim of causing minimum disruption and maximum benefit to those people using the route daily.

The policy has paid off, with Fulton Hogan reporting there’s been minimal complaints relating to dust or disruption.

Manukau City Council will officially open the $45 million Te Irirangi Drive on Sunday, 30 April. The event will be marked by a major community fun-run, which is being supported by a large range of local community organisations and the business community.

The official opening day fun run which has been organised and sponsored by the Rotary Club and Manukau City Council, will kick off from the Manukau Velodrome, after official ribbon cutting ceremonies on the Southern Motorway overbridge adjacent to the Great South Road.

“This is the largest roading project ever undertaken by a local authority in New Zealand,” says Sir Barry “Its official opening will be celebrated in true Manukau tradition – with an official ceremony and an event and activities that all the family can participate in and enjoy.”

By opening Te Irirangi Drive, Manukau City Council, in conjunction with its project partners, is opening a major new east-west route linking Botany Downs, Pakuranga and Howick residents with Manukau City Centre and the Auckland International Airport.

“The completion of the road marks the fulfilment of a project that has been in the pipeline since the late 1970s. Te Irirangi Drive is one of the last major regional arterial roads to be developed; one that has significance to the whole region because of its location adjacent to the largest business centre in New Zealand. It ties in with a network of roading planned by Manukau City Council, to cater for the growing business and community population. It has been designed for the future, with pedestrian bridges and underpasses designed for the future residents of the suburbs on either side of the highway,” Sir Barry says.

According to Manukau City Council figures, the catchment area on either side of the highway is expected to have 60,000 new residents by the year 2012.

Residential housing developers are putting up hectare after hectare of development, ranging from upmarket Californian style apartment villages, through to quality developments that link Housing New Zealand with the private sector.

A total of 9.65km of road works have been undertaken including the 7.8 km road and additional 1.85 km of upgrades to connecting roads. The project has required a huge commitment from Manukau City Council, which has funded it jointly with Transfund New Zealand contributing 48% of the total cost. Transit NZ also had input into the project by funding the Southern Motorway off ramps.

“I am very grateful to Transit and Transfund for their ongoing commitment to the roading and transport initiatives of the Manukau City Council,” Sir Barry says.

Key Benefits:
- Better cross-town access for Howick and Pakuranga residents wanting to shop and do business in Manukau City and for residents wanting to access Botany Downs retail and residential areas.
- Outer lanes can accommodate parked vehicles for emergency situations.
- Better motoring conditions: reduced travelling times, safer and more convenient roads and less traffic congestion.
- Makes provision for the alternative modes of transport in the future, in that the 10-metre wide median strip will allow for future light rail or other passenger transport facilities.
- Environmental benefits such as protection of waterways and planting.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Donna Young or Gabrielle Hinton
Corporate Communications
Manukau City Council
Telephone 262 5286
Fax 262 5759

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