Archive | Roads

Council agrees to reprioritise land supply schedule

Auckland Council’s planning committee skipped the most pressing part of its business yesterday – decisions on refreshing the overarching Auckland Plan – but did spend time on its future urban land supply strategy.

Committee chair Chris Darby said the Auckland Plan refresh and how the council would consult on it had been deferred until Tuesday 28 March because more preparation was needed.

But the committee discussed in detail the future land supply strategy and agreed to a number of changes to sequencing.

Staff recommended advancing work on some areas and deferring it elsewhere because of infrastructure constraints. The estimate to install bulk infrastructure over the next 30 years is $19.7 billion.

Areas to be brought forward: Warkworth North, Wainui East, Silverdale (business), Red Hills, Puhinui (business), Wesley (Paerata), Opaheke Drury, Drury South.

Areas to be pushed back: Kumeu-Huapai-Riverhead, Whenuapai stage 2, Drury West stage 2, Puhinui (business), Red Hills North, Warkworth North-east & Takanini.

Public consultation on the Auckland Plan is scheduled for the period 29 March-18 April.

East-West link

The planning committee also identified a number of concerns about the East-West link project intended to run through Onehunga.

The Government identified the project as a road of national significance and referred it to a board of inquiry. The NZ Transport Agency’s applications were publicly notified on 22 February and submissions close on 22 March.

  • This is an overly short version of events at yesterday’s committee meeting – being in 2 places at once doesn’t always work. I’ll come back with more detail on the land issues and the East-West link.

Committee agenda

Attribution: Council release, agenda.

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Warkworth-Wellsford indicative route unveiled

The NZ Transport Agency released an indicative route on Tuesday for the State Highway 1 replacement between Warkworth & Northland.

Image above: The NZ Transport Agency’s map of the indicative route. Link below is to a larger version of the map.

The route will run well west of Warkworth then head east to skirt Wellsford & Te Hana, returning to the existing highway route at Vipond Rd, a few bends south of the border between the Auckland city/region & Northland province.

3 interchanges will connect the motorway with Warkworth, Wellsford at Wayby Valley Rd and Te Hana at Mangawhai Rd.

The project is a continuation of the road of national significance that started by bypassing Silverdale & Orewa and currently returns to the old route just south of Puhoi.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said: “It will reduce the overall travel time between Warkworth & Te Hana by bypassing town centres, and avoiding the steep & winding Dome Valley. The straighter road alignment will also reduce the high crash rate through this area and reduce congestion & frustrations for motorists that often get stuck behind slow-moving heavy vehicles.”

The Dome Valley is not exactly steep but is constrained from widening, while the chosen route looks like it will cut through hillier terrain.

The 18.5km Puhoi-Warkworth section is scheduled to open in late 2021. It’s being delivered by the Northern Express Group (NX2) as a public-private partnership. The transport agency is working towards designating the 19.5km Warkworth-Wellsford section route by the end of 2018.

The route is also on the Government’s Connecting Northland strategy. Mr Bridges said: “Improving this road is part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring transport infrastructure is in place to connect communities, get people to places of work and freight to key export markets, which are all vital in helping Northland’s economy grow.”

NZTA, Ara Tuhono, Warkworth-Wellsford
Ara Tuhono map pdf

Earlier story:
28 July 2014: NZTA gets Puhoi-Warkworth consents, no standard condition 1, economic & alternative objections sidelined

Attribution: NZTA, ministerial release.

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April start for Tamaki Drive intersection upgrade

A $7 million upgrade for the intersection of Tamaki Drive & Ngapipi Rd is scheduled to start in April after an independent hearings panel approved Auckland Transport’s proposal.

The waterfront route to the eastern suburbs carries 30,000 vehicles/day.

Auckland Transport’s major capital group manager, Andrew Scoggins, said last week it was one of Auckland’s most dangerous intersections: “21 crashes have been recorded at the intersection in the past 5 years, with 13 resulting in injury. Tamaki-Ngapipi is ranked number 10 on the national top 100 list of crash risk intersections.

Image above: An artist’s impression of the upgraded intersection.Link: Tamaki-Ngapipi project overview

Attribution: Auckland Transport release.

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Northern corridor project gets closer to a hearing

The northern corridor improvements project in Auckland – providing the final motorway connection for the western ring route project – took a step towards a hearing today when the Environmental Protection Authority accepted the NZ Transport Agency’s application as complete.

The transport agency lodged its application for 6 notices of requirement & 25 resource consents on 14 December 2016.

Following today’s approval, the next step is for the Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith, to make a direction on whether the proposal is nationally significant and whether to refer the proposal to a board of inquiry, the Environment Court or Auckland Council for consideration & a decision.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said public consultation would take place early next year, and a start on construction was planned for 2018.

The project includes direct motorway interchange connections between State Highways 1 & 18, and capacity & safety improvements on State Highway 1 between Constellation Drive & Oteha Valley Rd, and on State Highway 18 between State Highway 1 & the Albany Highway.

The proposal also includes an extension of the Northern Busway from Constellation Drive to the Albany bus station, reconfiguration of the Constellation bus station, the addition of shared use paths along the length of the proposal area, direct connection of Paul Matthews Rd to Upper Harbour Highway and local road intersection improvements.

EPA, northern corridor proposal
NZTA, northern corridor improvements application

Attribution: NZTA website, ministerial release.

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PPP to deliver motorway to Warkworth

The NZ Transport Agency has entered its second contract for a public-private partnership (PPP) to deliver a state highway, this time for the 18.5km extension of the northern motorway out of Auckland between Puhoi & Warkworth. The first PPP was for Transmission Gully in Wellington.

The agency has awarded a contract to the Northern Express Group which will finance, build, manage & maintain the new motorway between Puhoi & Warkworth as a public private partnership at a net present cost of $709.5 million.

NZ Transport Agency chief executive Fergus Gammie said yesterday this section of motorway was a key transport link connecting Northland to the upper North Island freight triangle of Auckland, Waikato & Tauranga.

“The Puhoi-Warkworth motorway forms the first section of the Government’s Puhoi-Wellsford road of national significance, aimed at enabling economic growth by providing a safer & more reliable transport link for the region.

“The new motorway will extend the Northern Motorway (State Highway 1) from the Johnstone’s Hill tunnels just south of Puhoi to a point north of Warkworth.”

Northern Express will finance, design, construct, manage & maintain the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway for the 25 years that will follow the expected 5-year period to build it. Full ownership of the highway will remain with the public sector. Mr Gammie said the aim was to have it open for traffic by 2022.

The Northern Express Group is made up of firms with considerable experience in the design, construction, finance, maintenance and management of key infrastructure projects. The equity partners in the consortium are: the Accident Compensation Corp, Public Infrastructure Partners II LP (managed by Morrison & Co PIP Ltd), Acciona Concesiones SL and Fletcher Building Ltd.

Mr Gammie said the ‘net present’ contract price of $709.5 million was a ‘whole of life’ cost for Northern Express to build then operate the motorway. “Because the costs are spread over time, they are expressed in today’s dollars.”

NZTA, Puhoi-Warkworth motorway

Attribution: Agency release.

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St Lukes interchange opens

Prime Minister John Key & Transport Minister Simon Bridges officially opened the $85 million St Lukes-Great North Rd interchange yesterday, one of 7 projects that will form the $2.4 billion Western ring route, one of the Government’s roads of national significance.

The section of State Highway 16 has been widened from 3 to 4 lanes in each direction, with upgrades to on- & off-ramps and the St Lukes Rd overbridge. The north-western cycleway has also been widened & resurfaced.

Mr Bridges said it was part of a bigger regional picture to improve roading infrastructure in & around the city. The St Lukes upgrade creates greater capacity on the city side of the Waterview Connection for traffic on State Highway 16, as well as for the traffic that will use the motorway via the Waterview Tunnel when it opens next year.

“Building this infrastructure now means we’re able to support future growth & development in Auckland’s western areas to improve travel time reliability and create better freight access.”

Mr Bridges said the St Lukes interchange was a crucial building block.

NZTA, 7 October 2016: Waterview Connection project update

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Work starts on Onehunga stage of East-West Link

The first stage of the $1.25-1.85 billion East-West Link road project, the $15 million Onehunga works, has begun and was marked by Prime Minister John Key & Transport Minister Simon Bridges yesterday. It’s expected to be comleted by February.

In this stage, the South-western Motorway will be widened to 4 lanes each way between Neilson St & Queenstown Rd to provide extra capacity for the growing number of vehicles expected to use State Highway 20, and dedicated bus lanes will be added to State Highway 20 at Walmsley Rd to improve airport travel times.

Planning & consenting for the whole East-West project is also underway. Consent applications will be lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority before the end of the year. In January, the Government announced its intention to streamline the consent process to bring forward construction.

The East-West Link will link the South-Western Motorway (State Highway 20) & Southern Motorway (State Highway 1), and is also intended to tackle congestion in & out of the Onehunga-Penrose industrial area, and between the eastern suburbs & the airport.

NZ Transport Agency, East-West project

Attribution: NZ Transport Agency release.

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Matakana link road & Hill St agreement signed

Auckland Transport & the NZ Transport Agency have signed an agreement to speed up improvements to transport links in & between Warkworth and the communities to the east of it, and to ease some frustrations around Warkworth’s Hill St intersection.

The Transport Agency will provide early funding for construction of the Matakana link road project if Auckland Transport funds aren’t available. The 2 agencies said yesterday the agreement means the project can be delivered ahead of schedule.

The Matakana link road will provide a connection between Matakana Rd & State Highway 1 just south of the intersection with the Ara Tuhono Puhoi-Warkworth highway, expected to be open in 2022. It will give locals an alternative route between western & eastern areas of Warkworth and will bypass the State Highway 1 intersection at Hill St.

Planning & consenting for the link road project are underway and construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2019. The new road is scheduled for completion just ahead of the Transport Agency’s new state highway opening in 2022.

It will also align with Auckland Transport’s new Warkworth western collector project, a 3-stage plan to improve road connections west of the state highway. Stage 1 of that route, connecting Mansel Drive to Falls Rd, is under construction and will be completed next February. The exact route of the remaining 2 stages haven’t been determined, but will connect to the state highway in the vicinity of McKinney Rd in the south and the Matakana link road intersection in the north.

Warkworth is expected to grow by an additional 7900 new dwellings over the next 30 years.

Auckland Transport, Matakana link road
NZTA, Warkworth intersection improvements

Attribution: Auckland Transport release.

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Neilson St changes out for quick final feedback

Auckland Transport & the NZ Transport Agency have opened the latest proposals for improving travel times & congestion on Neilson St in Onehunga up for public feedback. The feedback period closes on Friday 26 August.

The proposals include changes to parking in the area and increasing lanes on Neilson St from 2 to 4 between Alfred & Angle Sts, with a clearway & no-stopping zone from 6am-7pm Monday-Friday.

Construction is planned to start this year and be completed by December.

The work is part of the East West Connections project and is designed to provide benefits for local road users, including freight, along Neilson St.

The wider package of improvements includes removing the rail bridge at the end of Neilson St and replacing it with a new, lowered road.

The South-western Motorway will also be widened to 4 lanes in each direction between Neilson St & Queenstown Rd to further support traffic growth expected on State Highway 20.

Auckland Transport principal engineer Joe Schady said the improvements also included new walking & cycling facilities alongside Waikaraka Park: “A new footpath & timber boardwalk linking to the existing walkway will make it easier & safer for the community to access the park, particularly for sporting activities & the speedway.”

The NZ Transport Agency’s Auckland highway manager, Brett Gliddon, said creating extra lanes on this part of Neilson St would help to deliver some early benefits to the Onehunga area, particularly for local business owners, truck operators & customers moving in & out daily.

The 2 transport agencies said feedback from the public in mid-2015 showed overall improvements on Neilson St were supported to help relieve the congestion experienced on the road and on the approaches to State Highways 1 & 20.

The agencies have listed 2 public information days, both at the Onehunga Library, 85 Church St:

Saturday 13 August at 11am-2pm
Tuesday 16 August at 2-5.30pm

The East West Link (as it was) more detailed overview.

The East West Link (as it was) more detailed overview, which the NZ Transport Agency published in June.

Auckland Transport, East West Connections
Auckland Transport, feedback
NZTA, East West project

Earlier stories:
29 January 2016: Key turns positive on rail link and promotes faster East-West project
21 December 2015: East-West project enters preliminaries phase
19 June 2015: Foreshore highway the new east-west preferred scheme
17 June 2015: Propbd on Q W16Jun15 – 5 sell at Colliers, 6 units sell at Barfoots, east-west link back on table
6 October 2014: Selwood says new east-west connection proposal leaves long-term strategy unclear
3 October 2014: East-west “connections” feedback sought – with no closing date

17 January 2014: Transport agencies ditch east-west plans south of Manukau

Attribution: Auckland Transport & NZTA release & project pages.

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2 Waikato & Coromandel roading contracts approved

The Government has approved 2 Waikato & Coromandel roading contracts, one for the last section of the Waikato Expressway and the other for a replacement bridge over a stream at Kopu.

Image above: An artist’s impression of the redesigned intersection of State Highways 25A & 26 at Kopu, at the start of the Coromandel for travellers from Auckand.

Final expressway contract awarded

Downer NZ Ltd has been awarded the contract to build the final part of the Waikato Expressway, the $115 million Longswamp section, and work will start this year for completion in 2018.

The project is the final 5.9km of 7 sections of the 102km expressway, one of the Government’s roads of national significance.

Construction will start in October to widen the existing State Highway 1 to 4 lanes between Hampton Downs & Rangiriri. A local road bridge will be built over it.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said yesterday: “The Waikato Expressway will be a gamechanger for this country. It will create jobs, boost industry & improve safety for all motorists travelling on this section of State Highway 1. It will reduce congestion & unlock economic potential by providing stronger links between the business & agricultural centres of Auckland & the Waikato, as well as the Bay of Plenty.”

Bridge replacement at Kopu to reduce flooding

The Government has approved a $12 million budget to replace the Kirikiri Stream Bridge at Kopu on State Highway 26, where traffic has frequently been impeded by flooding.

The new bridge is a tied arch design so a central pier isn’t required to support the structure, and debris won’t accumulate under it as it does under the old one. The new bridge deck will also be 3m higher.

The NZ Transport Agency said in December the existing bridge provided for only a 5-year rainfall event but the new one would provide protection up to a 100-year rainfall event.

The agency will also raise & realign the highway and rebuild the intersection with State Highway 25A to Hikuai.

Attribution: Ministerial & NZ Transport Agency releases.

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