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Works approved for ‘Spaghetti Junction’ upgrade

Works plan approved for ‘Spaghetti Junction’ upgrade

Transit New Zealand’s proposed Outline Plan of Works for the Central Motorway Junction (CMJ) Scheme was yesterday accepted by Auckland City Council’s Regulatory and Fixtures Sub-committee.

The upgrading project known as stage 2, “CMJ Core” will finally complete the motorway connections between State Highway 1, the North Western Motorway, the Northern Motorway, and State Highway 16. The proposed scheme is an integrated solution that will help improve traffic flow and reduce congestion.

“Council is particularly very pleased with the urban design framework that Transit has adopted for all three parts of the motorway upgrade,” says Councillor Juliet Yates, Sub- committee chairperson. “For instance the interesting design motifs embedded into the pre-cast concrete barriers will certainly help to enhance the appearance of the motorways.”

These concrete barriers will be a new endeavour by Transit to help reduce noise levels throughout the city motorway corridor.

Under the RMA, Transit has status as a requiring authority to designate land for certain purposes such as motorways. The purpose of the outline plan process is to check that proposed works are consistent with the given designation.

Although today’s report indicates that this plan is consistent with the designation, the council has made some further requests to Transit. Before any works are started, Transit has been asked to submit management plans to council providing specific details on environmental effects, construction and traffic matters. These plans will contain measures to avoid any adverse effects.

The plans are not yet available as a successful contractor for the project is yet to be appointed. Before construction work is completed a detailed landscape plan has also been requested, including the investigation of the use of vines to limit graffiti.

“This upgrade is essential if we are to increase the motorway capacity to its full, originally anticipated potential,” says Councillor Yates. “But the council still wants the opportunity to review in detail the impact of the project. We intend to work closely with Transit to lessen any unfavourable effects such as noise, dust and traffic hold ups.”

Construction on the project should begin no later than early next year. This timing is crucial, as the flow-on effects following the completion of the project are significant. One such effect is the link between the CMJ upgrade and the Harbour Bridge to City project. To date the harbour bridge has never been used to its maximum traffic capacity. The upgrade will increase the capacity of the motorways to match capacity with the harbour bridge.

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