Improvements for Southern motorway

By Regan Paranihi

The New Zealand Transport Agency is advising motorists of the lane changes on SH1 at Takānini and near Papakura, Auckland, from early February.

NZTA's Senior Manager Project Delivery, Chris Hunt says there will be no lane closures, but the road layout will be different.

“Drivers are encouraged to drive with care as they get used to the new layout and keep to the temporary 80km/h speed limit through the active construction zones.”

The purpose of the changes is to improve safety and journey reliability on Auckland’s Southern Motorway by creating extra lanes.

Motorists will notice the lane changes from February at Takanini where a third lane is being added to the overbridge crossing on Great South Road. The two existing lanes will be split just before the Takanini off-ramp for 800-meters and will re-join south of Great South Road before the on-ramp.

“The new single span bridge will be more resilient and safer for motorists. Completing the work while also keeping the motorway operating will require careful planning and a staged approach,” says Hunt.

A temporary bridge for traffic heading south has been built alongside the existing bridge. Next month north and southbound lanes will be diverted to use the temporary bridge to allow demolition of the old northbound bridge to build a new one.

This process will be duplicated to replace the southbound bridge and once it’s completed the new bridge will have three lanes in each direction.

“In all, it will take three separate shifts of traffic over the next 18 months for the bridge work to be completed but no lanes will be closed. We’ll simply be shifting traffic lanes so work can take place on either side,” says Hunt.

“The Transport Agency asks motorists to be vigilant and patient during this time of change. The outcome will be improved safety, journey reliability and traffic flows on our main highway.”

Once the Southern Corridor Improvements project in 2019, it will provide an extra southbound lane on SH1 between Manukau and Papakura and an extra northbound lane between Papakura and Takānini.