Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Prime Minister starts final Western Ring Route project

16 May 2014

Prime Minister starts final Western Ring Route project

The final project linked to the NZ Transport Agency’s huge expansion of Auckland’s Northwestern Motorway (State Highway 16) was officially launched today by the Prime Minister, John Key.

Mr Key turned the first spade of soil marking the start of construction on the SH16 St Lukes to Great North Road Upgrade – a project to widen 2 kilometres of SH16, and upgrade the St Lukes overbridge spanning the motorway.

Also present at the ground breaking ceremony were Auckland’s deputy mayor, Penny Hulse, elders from Ngati Whatua O Orakei and Te Kawerau a Maki and community and transport leaders.

The Transport Agency’s acting Highway Manager, Steve Mutton, says the upgrade is the last of six critical projects to ensure motorways and local roads are ready for the increased volume of traffic when the Waterview tunnels connecting the Northwestern and Southwestern (SH20) motorways are completed in early 2017.

“The opening of the tunnels and connecting two busy motorways will have as big an impact on the way people travel around and through the city as the Auckland Harbour Bridge did 55 years ago when traffic started crossing it for the first time.”

Mr Mutton says little time will be lost starting work on the $70m project. Enabling works begin this Sunday night (18 May), and at the end of the month there will be 5 overnight closures that will have a significant impact on drivers using the Northwestern Motorway.

“This project may be small compared with its $1.4b neighbour just down the motorway at the Waterview tunnels, but the improvements are essential part of our programme to make the Northwestern Motorway and local roads better,” he says.

The SH16 St Lukes to Great North Road Upgrade, delivered by Leighton Contractors, will widen the motorway from three to four lanes in each direction, and improve motorway ramps. As part of the project, Auckland Transport will fund improvements at the St Lukes Road-Great North Road intersection, and widen the St Lukes Road overbridge to benefit drivers, walkers and cyclists.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse describes the project as another milestone in providing transport choices for Aucklanders.

“It’s important we provide an integrated transport network with options including bus, train and ferry as well as cycling and walking to keep Auckland moving, and that’s an integral part of this project”, says Cr Hulse. “This upgrade will play a significant role in improving links between the west and the rest of Auckland and as a local councillor that is particularly welcome.”

St Lukes is the last of six projects to connect the Northwestern and Southwestern motorways and complete the Western Ring Route (WRR) – identified by the Government as one of its Roads of National Significance to help improve the economy and road safety.

The other projects are New Zealand’s largest-ever roading project – the Waterview Connection and construction of its twin tunnels and a motorway-to-motorway interchange, the Causeway Upgrade Project, and improvements to the Te Atatu and Lincoln Road interchanges on the Northwestern. Re-construction of the Maioro Street interchange (SH20) has been completed.

There are two other works linked to the WRR. The first of a series of projects to better connect the northern end – the Upper Harbour Highway (SH18) at Albany – with the Northern Motorway (SH1) began in January, and options are being investigated to improve the Royal Road interchange on the Northwestern Motorway.

The Western Ring Route will provide a 47km-long alternative to SH1 between Albany and Manukau. It will provide more reliable city connections – particularly with developing commercial and residential areas in the northwest and southwest – and improve regional transport connections for people and freight.

“Today’s ground breaking event marks a symbolic ‘begninng of the end’ for those projects linked directly to the Waterview tunnels, but we are undertaking more improvements to our network to make it better for city and regional drivers,” Mr Mutton says.

For more information please visit www.nzta.govt.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Not Easy: Gordon Campbell On The Greens’ Ongoing Problems

Hard to treat the Greens’ belated decision to stand a candidate in Ohariu as being anything other than a desperation move, by a party whose own leadership is evidently concerned about its chances of survival...

A few months ago, the Greens felt able to forego that role in Ohariu in order to help a beleaguered Labour Party get its candidate Greg O’Connor across the line, and knock Peter Dunne out of the parliamentary frame. More>>

 

Closing The Gap: Ardern Rules Out Income Tax Rise

After earlier commitments by Jacinda Ardern to do something about inequality and poverty, this new position on income tax seems an about face. To do something significant about inequality requires increases in income for those at the bottom and decreases for those at the top... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need... More>>

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election