East West Connections project rolls out
‘‘We recognise that Auckland is growing and that we need capacity.’’
Work has officially begun on a multi-million dollar project to speed up Auckland traffic.
On September 27 Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Prime Minister John Key officially acknowledged the start of Onehunga Improvements, the first stage of the East West Connections project.
It is a joint project between the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport. East West Connections is a programme to improve freight efficiency, commuter travel, public transport, and walking and cycling options in the area between Onehunga, East Tamaki, and Auckland Airport over the next 30 years.
The project will improve vehicle access to Auckland Airport via State Highway 20 and will include a new four-lane road along the northern edge of the Onehunga foreshore.
Prime Minister John Key was on hand to see the project begin.
‘‘We recognise that Auckland is growing and that we need capacity and we are committed to keep investing in our roading infrastructure here,’’ he said.
Bridges said it was an ‘‘exciting and important development’’ for Onehunga, the ‘‘industrial heart’’ of Auckland and of New Zealand.
‘‘It is so important that we deal with improving the capacity in this area.’’
Both the southwestern motorway between Neilson St and Queenstown Rd, and Neilson St between Alfred St and Angle St, will be widened to four lanes.
The Neilson St rail bridge will also be removed to allow better freight access.
Once this first stage is completed safety and accessibility for cycling and walking between Ma¯ngere Bridge, Onehunga, and Sylvia Park will be improved.
There will also be improved journey time reliability for buses between SH20 and Onehunga town centre.
Dedicated bus shoulder lanes will also be added to State Highway 20 between Rimu Rd and Walmsley Rd.
The contract for Onehunga Improvements was awarded to Fulton Hogan in late August and construction is scheduled to finish in early 2017. The project cost for the first stage is $15 million, funded by the National Land Transport Fund ($9 million) and Auckland Transport ($6 million).
Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Prime Minister John Key and Auckland Mayor Len Brown.