Southern Motorway Project Update

Graphics of the project available

 

Area of the Southern Motorway where the corridor upgrade will happen
Area of the Southern Motorway where the corridor upgrade will happen

 

I went to the NZTA open day at the Papakura Library today to check out the initial designs for the Southern Motorway upgrade. For more on the project see my post here: Southern Motorway Upgrade Website Up

A brief recap from that post

Southern Motorway Upgrade Website Up

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) have got their website up for the Southern Motorway which is due to start late 2015 and with completion by the end of 2017 (when the Western Ring Route is also completed).

You can go here for the Southern Motorway Upgrade website.

 

Some key bits from the website on the project (source: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/auckland-southern-corridor/index.html )

About the Southern Corridor

The ‘Southern Corridor’ is the stretch of Southern Motorway between the SH20/SH1 connection at the northern end and Papakura to the south.

The Southern Corridor is a key strategic route from the north, connecting Auckland to Hamilton, Tauranga and the rest of New Zealand.

Improvements to SH16 and SH20, with the completion of the Waterview Connection project in 2017 and the entire Western Ring Route in 2021, will increase the amount of traffic reaching SH1 heading southbound, in particular during peak times.

Recent growth predictions forecast that Auckland’s population will grow by another one million residents over the next three decades. This includes an additional 160,000 people, equivalent to a city the size of Hamilton, located in the southern area alone.

The problem

Motorists experience frequent bottlenecks at several locations along the Southern Motorway, in particular between the SH20/SH1 connection and Papakura, including the Takanini Interchange, creating significant delays and eroding journey reliability. This is caused by an imbalance in the number of lanes heading both northbound and southbound with the fluctuation from three to two lanes.

Additionally, growth in South Auckland is increasing the amount of congestion on the local road network at Great South Road with frequent delays for motorists and buses. This is also having an effect on traffic entering and exiting the motorway at the Takanini Interchange. There are also known safety risks at the Takanini Interchange, particularly with the northbound merge onto the motorway.

A lack of walking and cycling facilities along the southern corridor means fewer trips are made by foot or bike, leading to increased car use for short distance trips.

…….

Source: https://voakl.net/2014/07/16/southern-motorway-upgrade-website-up/

 

Since then NZTA have released the initial designs to the Southern Motorway upgrade in which I will put down below in case you can not make an open day.

 

In order

Government Investment in Transport Projects

 

The Story of the South

 

What is the Southern Corridor Improvement Projects

 

Project Map

 

Takanini Interchange

 

Hill Road Interchange

 

Proposed Cycleway

 

Environmental Overview

 

How NZTA will Construct the Project

 

How to Provide Feedback

 

Will you be affected by the project

 

Source for the embeds: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/auckland-southern-corridor/publications.html 

 

Initial Thoughts

For the most part the Southern Motorway project looks good. I am not so sure on the Takanini Interchange with City Bound traffic having to turn right via traffic lights on the Great South Road in order to enter the motorway compared to the arrangement we have now (the quarter clover leaf). I also notice a lack of bus lanes along the Great South Road in the Takanini Interchange area. Now I will seek clarification on how should be building those bus lanes along the Great South Road in the area. Is it NZTA or Auckland Transport. More to the point are the two talking to each other over the Interchange to allow the provisions for the bus lanes. If not why not, if so where is it on the Takanini Interchange map.

The freight lane for north bound trucks entering the motorway at Takanini is a good idea as it gives time for the heavy trucks to reach speed (going up a hill) before merging with the general motorway. As for the cycleways? Hope they happen.

 

More on this when the formal consultation starts.