Southern Motorway Gridlock

Bring Back the Eastern Highway?


And so it happened, an accident on the southbound lanes of the Southern Motorway (State Highway One) on the Newmarket Viaduct causing absolute gridlock for hours on end – and it even delayed the start of the Breakers game to boot.

You can see (what is most likely to have been caused by hopeless driving Auckland is known for) the accident and its absolute chaos from the NZ Herald along with a bonus video

From the NZH:

How one crash caused gridlock chaos

By Amelia Wade

5:30 AM Friday Mar 8, 2013

Inner-city Auckland traffic was brought to a virtual standstill last night after a motorway crash – gridlock that the Automobile Association described as the worst it had seen.

A van crashed into the back of a truck in the southbound fast lane on the Southern Motorway at Newmarket at 3.50pm, seriously injuring a man.

More than two hours later, traffic on almost all of the city’s arterial routes was gridlocked, with buses backed up in city streets and motorists reporting speeds of less than 10km/h.

Journeys that normally took 15 minutes were taking more than an hour.

Automobile Association traffic spokesman Phil Allen said he had never seen traffic so bad in central Auckland.

Are you sick of Auckland’s traffic problems? Send us your commuting tales of woe and any ideas you have on how to fix Auckland’s traffic jams here.

The association launched traffic-mapping technology on its site 18 months ago. Routes marked in black show where traffic is moving at under 25 per cent of the speed limit.

You can read the rest and watch the video over at the NZH.


I was fortunate enough to have returned from the success at the Strategy and Finance Committee ahead of that traffic disaster yesterday however it is going to highlight a rather sore point?


Would of the much vaunted four lane Eastern Highway expressway coupled with cycle-ways and even the Botany (heavy rail) Line alleviate some (not all but some) of the chaos yesterday by giving a viable bypass for those heading south out of the CBD. Those coming from the north would have used the Western Ring Route (State Highways 16 and 20) if it had been completed by now as an extra backup.


The Eastern Highway and Botany Line basically followed this trajectory before its mothballing in 2004

Eastern Highway and Botany Line
Eastern Highway and Botany Line








Click for full resolution


I have the original EASTDOR report into the four options available for the Eastern Highway and will get them uploaded when I return from Australia.

But for now just ponder to yourself; The Eastern Highway – that critical back up for the CBD we now miss.


Of course I am waiting for the fringe brigades from both the pro road, and pro public transport and nothing else to pipe up and basically kill the debate before it starts…


Just remember folks – the Eastern Highway provided an absolute full suite of actual integrated transport options such as: road, freight way, bus priorities, cycle ways and even heavy rail to a part of Auckland not served by rail as of current. I suppose I could have the last laugh after the project was mothballed in 2004 and how (as it would have been completed by now) it could have made a pure crap day just that slightly bit better for those stuck last night…