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Improved road surface planned for Newmark Viaduct

Transit New Zealand
Auckland Regional Office

6 April 2006

Media Release

New and improved road surface planned for Newmarket Viaduct

Newmarket Viaduct will be partially closed to traffic from midnight to 5.30am on six nights between 9 April and 12 May, weather permitting. The six night closures – two southbound followed by four northbound – will take place between Sundays and Thursdays. On each of the nights, the viaduct will be closed in one direction only.

There will be no closures on Friday or Saturday nights and daytime traffic will be unaffected.

On the night of each closure, two lanes will be closed off and just one lane left open from 9pm to midnight when all three lanes, in one direction, will be closed to traffic until 5.30am.

Clearly signposted detours will be in place for diverted traffic during the closures.

During the southbound closures, motorists will be required to detour off the Southern Motorway from the Gillies Ave off-ramp, turning left into Gillies Ave, right into Mortimer Pass, right into Broadway, left into St Marks Road and back onto the motorway via the St Marks Road on-ramp.

The detour during the northbound closures will be off the Southern Motorway from the Market Road off-ramp, turning left into Market Road, right into Great South Road and along Alpers Road, right into Gillies Ave and via the Gillies Ave on-ramp back onto the motorway.

(Please see attached image for further details of the north and southbound detours.)

The resealing of the Newmarket Viaduct – the most heavily trafficked section of motorway in New Zealand with more than 200,000 vehicles crossing it each day - is necessary to maintain safety and restore the smoothness of the road surface says Transit regional operations manager, Joseph Flanagan.

“A unique type of asphalt, a mix of light coloured ‘blonde’ binder material and volcanic ‘dacite’ stone containing high levels of quartz and other reflective minerals, will be used for the reseal. The effect will be to create a surface that, unlike the more usual black tar and chip seal surfaces, does not heat up in the sun,” he says.

“The cooler blonde/dacite asphalt mix will prevent too much variation of heat between the road surface and the base of the road structure. This, in turn, will stop the viaduct from flexing and cracking the surface.”

Mr Flanagan says the dacite material is available only from one quarry in New Zealand that was originally opened in the 1800s for the ‘betterment of Auckland Roads’ and closed some 15 years ago. “Transit has worked with the quarry owners to reopen the quarry and extract the rare material specifically for the viaduct resealing,” he says.

ENDS

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