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Slow down over Newmarket Viaduct

proximity of
construction to newmarket viaduct

MEDIA RELEASE

NZ Transport Agency – Auckland Regional Office

23 October 2009

Slow down over Newmarket Viaduct

Significant reductions in the speed limit are now in place on both the south and northbound lanes of the Newmarket Viaduct on the Southern Motorway [SH1], as part of the Newmarket Connection: Viaduct Replacement Project. The NZ Transport Agency urges all motorists to slow down and drive with caution through what is now a live construction zone.

Southbound, the limit has been reduced from 100km/h to 70km/h, from Gillies Avenue through to Greenlane. The new northbound limit of 80km/h begins from the Market Road off-ramp.

“Speed limits have been reduced not only for the safety of all drivers using one of the busiest sections of the Auckland motorway network, but for the protection of the workers building the new viaduct,” said the NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker.

“We ask all drivers to observe the speed restrictions,” Mr Parker said. “Visible construction activity is now taking place in close proximity to a live motorway, and this can be a potentially dangerous distraction for drivers.”

The lower speeds are part of the NZTA’s comprehensive traffic management plan to ensure construction of the new viaduct continues without incident. From next Wednesday 28 October, the lane width of the northbound lanes on the approach to the viaduct will be reduced. Southbound lanes have already been narrowed across the viaduct and through to Greenlane.

The $215m Newmarket Connection: Viaduct Replacement Project will see the existing viaduct replaced, in stages, by a wider, stronger and more sustainable new structure. The project will not only allow the NZTA to open the new four-lane southbound motorway bridge in 2011, but keep the Southern Motorway open at near full capacity throughout.

“Labour weekend is a pertinent time to remind motorists of the need for caution, as lower traffic volumes increase the likelihood of motorists exceeding the speed limits,” Mr Parker said. “As construction activity increases, so does the need to respect the new speed limits as these are a key mechanism in allowing us to keep all three lanes of the existing viaduct open safely in both directions.”

For more information on the Newmarket Connection: Viaduct Replacement project, visit www.nzta.govt.nz/newmarketconnection or call the freephone number: 0508 CONNECT (266 6328).

ENDS

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