Four-year $220m upgrade starts on SH16 causeway
A $220 million project to lift the causeway on State Highway 16 is under way.
The work is part of the western ring route project linking SH16, SH18 and SH20, providing an easy way to bypass the city centre between Manukau and the North Shore while passing through West Auckland.
The causeway project involves lifting a 4.5 kilometre section of SH16 by 1.5 metres to prevent flooding and to give more access to buses, pedestrians and cyclists and adding extra lanes. The work has a 2017 completion date.
NZ Transport Agency state highways manager Tommy Parker says it will provide economic benefits to Northland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty as the North Island population grows.
‘‘For the first time there will be direct motorway access between the CBD and Auckland International Airport. The western ring route will also connect commuters and freight with the rapidly growing areas in the northwest and the southwest of the city.’’
Between the Great North Rd interchange and the Te Atatu interchange there will be four lanes in each direction and bus shoulder lanes.
Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford says he is determined to get the frequent bus service running all the way along SH16 into the city.
‘‘The approach is not to build the busway all in one go, but to build it step by step. Each new service and piece of infrastructure will attract increasing numbers of passengers, growing demand, and justifying additional investment. This is pretty much how the Northern Busway was built.’’
A lane for pedestrians and cyclists will be built along the side of the motorway from Te Atatu Rd up to Henderson Creek and along the Whau River bridge the lane will be 3m wide.
The T2 lane along the westbound on-ramp at Great North Rd has been closed to traffic and will remain that way for more than two years. The shared path for cyclists and pedestrians will be diverted on to the T2 lane.
The agency says most of the work will be done off-peak and all motorway lanes and cycle lanes will be kept open during peak hours.
Upgrade starts: Work to raise and widen the causeway on SH16 began last week.