Take a drive on new mo­tor­way

Central Leader - - News - By Rhi­an­non Hor­rell

The new State High­way 20 mo­tor­way ex­ten­sion is set to open to­day with traf­fic beginning to use the east­bound lanes this af­ter­noon.

The 4.5km stretch will be of­fi­cially opened with a rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony at 12.45pm by Trans­port Min­is­ter Steven Joyce, mayor John Banks and New Zealand Trans­port Agency rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The sec­tion of SH20 ex­tends the south­west­ern mo­tor­way from Queen­stown Rd and forms part of the west­ern ring route. It is ex­pected to ease traf­fic con­ges­tion on Mt Roskill roads.

Two in­ter­changes at Hills­bor­ough Rd and Do­min­ion Rd will pro­vide on and off-ramps for east­bound and west­bound traf­fic. Bridges at May Rd, Do­min­ion Rd, Hayr Rd and Hills­bor­ough Rd are ex­pected to cater for about 45,000 ve­hi­cles a day. The two pedes­trian bridges at Keith Hay Park and Ernie Pinches St are ex­pected to pro­vide a safe cross­ing for more than 2000 school­child­ren each day.

To­day’s open­ing fol­lows a suc­cess­ful com­mu­nity open day last Satur­day when around 11,000 peo­ple turned out to take a stroll or cy­cle on the new ex­ten­sion.

Walk­ers, run­ners, skate­board­ers and cy­clists were en­ter­tained by a jazz band from Mt Roskill Gram­mar School.

About 50 pro­test­ers also gath­ered last Satur­day, cam­paign­ing for a “tun­nel or noth­ing” to com­plete the Waterview con­nec­tion.

Photo: STAN CLEGG

Open for busi­ness: Peo­ple check out the new State High­way 20 ex­ten­sion by foot at a com­mu­nity open day last week­end.

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