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Puhinui interchange opens to traffic

Auckland Regional Office

8 September 2003

MEDIA RELEASE

Puhinui interchange opens to traffic

An important component of the strategic Western Ring Route – enabling an eventual bypass of Auckland city and the Harbour Bridge - was celebrated on Friday when Minister of Police and Manurewa MP, Hon George Hawkins officially opened the new Puhinui Interchange on State Highway 20 in Puhinui, Manukau City.

The $14.5M full grade interchange replaces the old Puhinui roundabout and also marks the first step towards joining the Southwestern Motorway (SH20) to the Southern Motorway (SH1), immediately to the south of Manukau City.

Mr Hawkins said the previous roundabout was one of the busiest and most congested in the Auckland region, with some 40,000 vehicles travelling through each day. Located on one of the main routes to Auckland International Airport, the roundabout was prone to long queues and delays, resulting in congestion, and a significant number of nose-to-tail incidents.

“This new interchange is already helping to reduce congestion in the area,” said Mr Hawkins.

“Motorists have been calling Transit since the opening of the southbound lanes to say how good it is to travel this route. Completing Auckland’s motorway system is a priority for this Government and completing the Puhinui interchange is a taste of things to come.”

Manukau City Mayor Sir Barry Curtis said the completion of the interchange was one of a number of roading and rail projects in Manukau, including the Waiouru Interchange, and the Manukau Extension project through Wiri, that will have a significant impact on those who work and live in the city.

“Manukau City is a strong supporter of all these projects because we realise the importance of providing the infrastructure to enable the region to continue to grow and develop,” he said.

Transit chief executive, Dr Robin Dunlop, said there was currently some $200M worth of motorway upgrading projects, to ease congestion, under construction in Auckland.

“The Grafton Gully motorway project is nearing completion under budget and well ahead of schedule, while we are on the point of awarding the construction contract for the Greenhithe section of the Upper Harbour Corridor. We are also about to let a design and construct contract for stage two of the Central Motorway Junction upgrade,” he said.


The new northbound alignment, which is the final stage of the interchange to open, will open to all traffic on Wednesday 10 September, following tie-in works. All work is weather permitting and in the event of bad weather, opening to traffic may be postponed.

Additional works in the area will continue until December this year.


ends

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