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Major improvement to motorway completed

Wed, 8 Dec 2004

Auckland Regional Office

Major improvement to motorway completed

Minister of Transport, Hon Pete Hodgson, today joined Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard and Transit New Zealand representatives in celebrating the completion of a major milestone in the upgrading of the city's Central Motorway (Spaghetti) Junction.

Construction on the $56million first stage of the $195million motorway project - to upgrade Auckland's busiest section of motorway - will be completed on schedule this month. Road marking and final resurfacing of the new lanes will continue until early January.

Started in October 2002, the project provides extra lanes southbound from Symonds Street to Gillies Avenue and northbound, Gillies Avenue to Khyber Pass. In addition, improvements have been made to efficiency and safety, along with structural and environmental benefits. Urban design elements, incorporating original artwork and landscaping with native plants, are also incorporated in the project. A full list of benefits is detailed overleaf.

"The improvements to Auckland's central motorway system will result in a safer and more pleasant experience for the more than 200,000 road users who pass through the junction everyday," said Transit Chief Executive, Rick van Barneveld.

Mr van Barneveld congratulated the team that managed the project for completing it on time. "It was a huge challenge to make such widespread improvements alongside live motorway traffic," he said.

To mark the occasion, an eight metre long gecko sculpture, which will be a permanent fixture underneath the Khyber Pass Viaduct, was unveiled by Mr Hodgson and Mr Hubbard. The gecko, with its colourful mosaic surface, will enhance a previously uninviting area in the Central Motorway Junction.

According to Maori legend, the gecko provides guardianship and protects passage, particularly appropriate in a roading context.

"We've used innovative designs throughout the project to reflect important historical and cultural values," said Mr Van Barneveld. "These features improve the motorway environment and make the area more enjoyable to use."

Project benefits

Improved efficiency

Enabling traffic to flow more freely by providing a dedicated lane for road users joining the motorway at Hobson Street.

A fourth southbound lane from Upper Queen Street Underpass to Gillies Avenue Overpass to increase capacity

Another lane at Gillies Ave off-ramp to make it a two-lane off-ramp. This will create more space on the off-ramp for exiting vehicles and reduce backlogs delaying traffic on the main carriageway.

A new northbound lane from Gillies Avenue on-ramp to Khyber Pass off-ramp to improve traffic flow.

Structural

Improved seismic performance of the Khyber Pass Viaduct, Grafton No. 2 Bridge and Grafton No. 3A Bridge.

A structural upgrade of the Khyber Pass Viaduct, Grafton No. 2 Bridge and Grafton No. 3A Bridge to withstand increased loads.

Enough southbound carriageway width for a ramp to be built in the future from Khyber Pass on-ramp to Gillie Avenue Overpass. Improved safety, environment and driver information

Upgraded safety barriers and more extensive coverage

Better motorway lighting

Improved stormwater systems for more efficient collection and disposal of stormwater through sand filters. This will reduce the risk of flooding, removing water from carriageways more quickly.

Urban design features including landscaping using native plants and trees, specially designed Rangitoto motif safety barriers and original artwork such as mosaics and sculptures.

Improved alignment of Wellesley Street off-ramp northbound.

Upgraded signage and facility for electronic signs in the future.

Stage 2 of the Central Motorway Junction upgrade project extends from Bond Street on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) to near Symonds Street and from Wellington Street on the Southern Motorway (SH1) to Symonds Street.

On completion in 2006, additional links will be added in both directions between the Northwestern and Northern motorways, as well as from the Northern Motorway to the port via Grafton Gully.

Additional information about both stages of the project is available at http://cmi.transit.govt.nz/index.htm

ENDS


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