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Gearing up for Greenlane

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL and TRANSIT NEW ZEALAND MEDIA RELEASE

20 March 2006

Gearing up for Greenlane

Auckland City and Transit New Zealand are pleased to announce that the construction contract for one of the city's most significant transport projects has been awarded.

Construction on the $14 million upgrade of the Greenlane and Great South Road area - the final stage of Project Greenlane - is planned to start in a month. The successful contractor is HEB Smithbridge Limited.

Mayor of Auckland city, Dick Hubbard, says he is delighted that one of the council's largest and most important transport projects is about to start.

"This is the last stage of a significant investment in the Greenlane area, to make it work better for everyone who uses it - pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and bus passengers," says Mr Hubbard.

"Last year's rate increase ring-fenced $42 million for key transport projects over a three year period. Project Greenlane is a tangible example of the targeted rate at work.

"This funding has sped up the final design for Project Greenlane, and meant funding for construction was available to get this essential work underway," says Mr Hubbard.

"We've put our money where our mouth is. This council is committed to providing crucial infrastructure for Auckland.

"The city needs progress, and our residents want to see it now. There is much work to be done, and every project competes for precious transport funding," says Mr Hubbard.

Transit New Zealand's Auckland regional manager, Richard Hancy, says the upgrade of the Greenlane interchange, known as the Greenlane roundabout, is vital to help ease pressure in this high demand area.

"This is a critical part of Auckland's transport network. Greenlane is an extremely hard-working interchange, one of the country's busiest," says Mr Hancy.

"Improving its capacity is essential to keep traffic flowing around the region.

"We are upgrading Auckland's motorway network so it works harder and smarter for people. The Greenlane project builds on capacity improvements in Grafton Gully and our ongoing work at the Central Motorway Junction," says Mr Hancy.

The construction programme for the project is currently being finalised. HEB Smithbridge Ltd will be establishing a site office over the four weeks, with construction due to start shortly after.

Traffic management will form a vital part of the construction programme, particularly when work is happening near or on the interchange. Auckland City and Transit encourage people to look out for signage, print and radio advertising, and to check these websites throughout construction:

www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/greenlane

www.transit.govt.nz/projects

ENDS

Notes to editors:

* The combined Greenlane construction contract has been awarded to HEB Smithbridge Ltd, and is valued at $14 million. Construction is expected to take 20 months.

* The joint contract includes Auckland City's Project Greenlane, and Transit New Zealand's upgrade of the Green Lane East interchange.

* The work encompasses the area from the intersection of Wheturangi Road and Green Lane West through to the eastern side of the Greenlane interchange, and Great South Road from Green Lane West through to the Harp of Erin. Around 55,000 vehicles currently pass through the work area each week day.

* Project Greenlane includes new bus lanes, measures to improve traffic flow such as additional traffic capacity at key intersections, improving the pedestrian environment by widening footpaths and introducing new pedestrian refuges, and improving cycling facilities and safety by providing off-road cycleways.

* Transit's work will improve the approach and traffic flow around the interchange, as well as enhance this area for pedestrians and cyclists.

* It includes building a new dedicated left-turn slip lane for the northern on-ramp, a similar slip-lane for the southern on-ramp, and widening to provide a new westbound traffic lane. The existing pedestrian and cycle underpass will also be improved.

* Auckland City's transport targeted rate has contributed $4.8 million to Project Greenlane, in the financial year to 30 June 2006.

* The projects were tendered together to ensure the work was well co-ordinated, and a good price found in a stretched roading construction market.

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