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Akld’s biggest motorway junction upgrade complete

Auckland Regional Office

15 December 2006

Media Release

Auckland’s biggest motorway junction upgrade complete

After four years of intensive construction undertaken during live traffic conditions Auckland’s Central Motorway Junction upgrade has been completed.

This sees the city’s three major motorways join seamlessly for the first time since the junction was first conceived nearly 40 years ago.

Transit New Zealand’s construction team joined Minister for Auckland Issues Hon Judith Tizard and Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard today in celebrating the $200m plus upgrade. They were among the last people to ever stand on the new sections of motorway before the whole junction opens to motorists next week.

The second and final stage of the upgrade will be completed at 5am on Tuesday 19 December when Transit will open the last of the new motorway-to-motorway links in central Auckland.

These new links between the Northwest and the North and the Port and the North will take motorists to their destinations via elevated and sweeping new sections of motorway.

“We’ve delivered on our biggest and most complex project to help resolve Auckland’s traffic congestion by creating direct connections between all three motorways converging at the central motorway junction - the Southern, Northern, and Northwestern motorways” says Transit New Zealand chief executive Rick Van Barneveld.

“The upgrade will benefit all Aucklanders as the city gets the infrastructure and technological improvements it needs to take us towards a modern and sustainable future. It makes it easier for people, freight and public transport to move around the city.

_“The upgrade will improve the driving experience of the more than 200,000 motorists who use the junction (more commonly known as Spaghetti Junction) each day. They will now complete their journeys between any of Auckland’s central city motorways without using local roads. Their trips will be safer, quicker and more enjoyable as they experience the new links, landscaping and decorative panels around the project,” explained Rick van Barneveld.

The new links weave under and over each other to complete the connections between New Zealand’s busiest motorways. All the work was completed within the existing motorway designation and traffic was kept flowing throughout construction.

Stage 2 of the CMJ is also one of the first projects in New Zealand to include ramp signals. Ramp signals - traffic lights at on-ramps that manage the rate at which vehicles move down the ramp and onto the motorway - will help improve traffic flows and safety on the motorway, while enabling more consistent speeds and travel times.

The ramp signalling system consists of traffic signals, sensors in the road and electronic signs to advise motorists when the signals are operating. The signals operate only when necessary, during busy peak times - and will operate in conjunction with new lane control signs showing advisory speed limits.

The signals will be switched on at the on-ramp to the Northern Motorway from the new Port and the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) links, as well as at the Curran St and Wellington St on-ramps heading north onto the Harbour Bridge.

New links
- 6 December: North to Northwestern SH1 to SH16 heading west
- 6 December: North to Port SH1 to SH16 heading east
- 18 December: Port to North SH16 east to SH1 heading north.
- 19 December: Northwestern to North SH16 west to SH1 heading north

Stage 2 Benefits
- Completes all central Auckland motorway connections
- Extra lane on SH16 from Newton Rd to Western Springs
- New Nelson St off-ramp with safer left hand exit
- Widened lanes
- More capacity
- Improved safety with new crash barriers
- Environmental improvements including new storm water treatment facilities
- Landscaping including 143,000 plants and decorative panels on retaining walls (karaka leaf and berries, kowhai pattern, waves pattern and pohutukawa flower and leaf designs)
- 750 metres of new viaducts and bridges, 2km of retaining walls built and 13,00m3 of topsoil added to the site.

Dates and costs
- $56M Stage 1 started October 2002 and completed 2004 and ahead of schedule
- $153M[i] Stage 2 started January 2004 and completed December 2006

ENDS

[i] Excluding SH16 Newton Rd to Western Springs additional lane and ATMS

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