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NZTA’s motorway upgrade steps up a gear in west Auckland

MEDIA RELEASE

9 April 2013

NZ Transport Agency – Auckland Regional Office

NZTA’s motorway upgrade steps up a gear in west Auckland

Work to upgrade the causeway on Auckland’s Northwestern Motorway (State Highway 16) as part of the Western Ring Route road of national significance is accelerating with the construction of the project’s base in Te Atatu.

The Causeway Alliance - the NZ Transport Agency, Aecom, Coffey Geotechnics, Fulton Hogan, Leighton Contractors and Sinclair Knight Merz – is completing the $220m upgrade for the NZTA. As a first step, the Causeway Alliance base known as Taupuni - meaning temporary encampment – is being built beside the pony club on Te Atatu Road. It will be in use from May.

The NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker, says a number of measures are being taken to reduce Taupuni’s impact on the alliance’s neighbours.

• It will be surrounded by a 2.4 metre high, solid plywood fence to minimise disturbance and to ensure that trucks, machinery, materials and office space are less visible
• The fence on the south side facing Te Atatu Road will be landscaped to soften its appearance.
• Traffic in and out of the site will be managed to reduce any inconvenience to other road users, particularly motorway access at peak hours
• Noise, traffic, lighting and environment management plans are in place, with Council approval for each one. The plans will be closely monitored to ensure the Causeway Alliance operates within its permitted limits at all times.

“An important part of a successful project is the team’s good relationship with our neighbours,” says Mr Parker. “The Causeway Upgrade Project is big and complex, and we want to make sure that we do things properly from the start. There’s an old saying that good fences make good neighbours, and we will be doing everything we can to ensure that this will be the case here.”

Work on the causeway upgrade itself is due to start in the middle of the year.

Key features of the project include widening the motorway between the Whau River Bridge near Te Atatu and the Great North Road interchange to four lanes citybound and four/five lanes westbound, extending the bus shoulder lanes, enhancing existing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists and raising the causeway 1.5m to stop flooding on the motorway during high tides.

The Causeway Upgrade Project is part of the Western Ring Route. Together with the neighbouring Waterview Connection project and upgrades of the Lincoln Road and Te Atatu Road interchanges on SH16, it will complete a 47 kilometre-long motorway alternative to SH1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

There will significant benefits for drivers when the Causeway Upgrade Project and other works linked to the Western Ring Route are completed, says Tommy Parker, NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland.

“For the first time, there will be direct motorway access between the CBD and Auckland International Airport, and the Western Ring Route will also connect commuters and freight with the rapidly growing areas in the north-west and south west of the city.”

Mr Parker adds that the Western Ring Route will also benefit the Northland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty regions.

“It’s a key part of a massive investment in infrastructure in Northland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty needed to meet the demands of rapid economic and population growth underway in the top half of the North Island,” he says.

For more information on about the project visit: www.nzta.govt.nz/sh16causeway

NOTE FOR EDITORS
Roads of National Significance
As part of the Western Ring Route, the Causeway Upgrade Project is crucial to supporting growth in Auckland and improving transport links between the city and the economic centres of Northland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty.

The Western Ring Route – the Causeway Upgrade Project and the adjacent Waterview Connection project to link the Southwestern and Northwestern Motorways (SH20 & 16) - is part of the NZTA’s roads of national significance programme (RoNS for short), which represents one of New Zealand’s biggest-ever infrastructure investments. Once completed, the seven RoNS routes will reduce congestion in and around our five largest metropolitan areas, and will move people and freight between and within these centres more safely and efficiently.

Other RoNS are: Ara Tuhono – Puhoi to Wellsford north of Auckland, Auckland’s Victoria Park Tunnel (completed in 2012), Waikato Expressway, Tauranga Eastern Link, Wellington Northern Corridor, and Christchurch Motorways. More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/rons.

ENDS

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