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Waterview Mitigation Needed

We’re now only months away from the opening of New Zealand’s biggest transport project to date, the Waterview tunnels – likely to be sometime between January and March. Waterview should have represented the last major new urban highway connection in Auckland but of course the NZTA and others have since started pushing other projects such as the East-West Link and an Additional Waitemata Harbour crossing.

While there are some positive things to the project, we’ve been concerned for some time about the impact the project will have across a number of areas, in particular the ongoing operational cost of the infrastructure and the traffic impacts. The concern for the latter issue was further strengthened by comments in the April Auckland Transport board report talking about how an Operational Risk Assessment had looked at expected traffic demand and that some additional physical mitigation works were needed and that workshops were taking place between AT and the NZTA. So I decided to OIA the information.

First up the issue of operational costs. Here’s what the NZTA said in response.

The latest cost estimate for Waterview Tunnels to maintain and operate on an annual basis is approximately $16 million.

To put that $16 million in perspective, in the 2014/15 financial year, the last for which data is currently available, the NZTA spent $108 million to operate, maintain and renwe the entire State Highway network in Auckland (up from about $90 million in the few years prior to that). That means the new Waterview Tunnels add almost 15% to the annual state highway operational bill in Auckland. Diving a bit deeper, the Auckland State Highway network is 1048km in length (by lane km). Waterview adds about 24km to that total, an increase of just over 2%. I guess what this highlights is that tunnels are really expensive, not only to build but also to operate.

OPEX spending on Auckland State Highways 2002-2015

On to the Operational Risk Analysis

We’ve long noted that one of the outcomes of Waterview is that it is likely to create a lot more pressure on the motorway network, especially east of Waterview as people from the southern isthmus use the new connection to drive towards the city or North Shore. When combined with all of the existing and new traffic from the west it’s likely to cause a lot of issues. We’ve also heard suggestions that for safety purposes the NZTA don’t want cars stopping in the tunnels because as I understand it, the ventilation system is designed based on moving vehicles to help push air through the tunnels so it can exhaust the fumes – happy to be corrected on this though.

Regardless it looks like we were right to be concerned and the NZTA are now pushing through a number of mitigation measures to state highways and local roads in a bid to boost vehicle capacity, possibly at the expense of PT and cycle infrastructure and potentially including the Northwest busway. What’s also not clear is why all of these mitigation measures wasn’t part of the initial assessment for project to begin with.

The Operational Risk Analysis is essentially a heap of new traffic modelling to try and determine if and where any issues might arise within the first six months and to test potential options to mitigate those issues. It’s the result of NZTA wanting to avoid the operational and reputational risk from something like a repeat of back in 2010 when they opened the SH20 to SH1 link at Manukau and finding it caused a heap of issues that they’re only now working to fix.

The modelling, which makes up the bulk of the report, highlights the areas of concern and is also assessed against three groups of mitigation measures – a summary of these mitigation groups are shown below.

Waterview Operational Risk Assessment Mitigation Groups

Ultimately the report recommends focusing on the Group 2 mitigations. These are:

It is strongly recommended that as many of the individual mitigations from Group 2 as possible be implemented prior to the opening of the WVT to manage the risks associated with tunnel operations and the operational and associated reputational risk that accompanies such a significant change to the configuration of the network.

Specific actions are recommended as follows:

  • Urgently engage with Auckland Transport to investigate if minor arterial corridor mitigations could provide a small increase in off ramp discharge capacity at the following three locations:
    • Maioro Street northbound off ramp.
    • Te Atatu Road westbound off ramp.
    • Royal Road westbound off ramp.
  • Design an additional lane at the following locations (using existing hard shoulders where feasible) to enable implementation prior to WVT opening:
    • SH20 southbound from Maioro Street on ramp to Hillsborough Rd on ramp.
    • SH20 northbound from Orpheus Drive on ramp to Queenstown Rd off ramp.
    • SH20 northbound auxiliary lane on approach to Maioro Street off ramp.
    • SH16 eastbound to from WVT to Western Springs off ramp and from Western Springs on ramp to tie-in to the existing five lane section near the Bond Street Bridge.
  • Carry out further assessment on the following:
    • Potential for operating some or all of the additional lanes recommended above as dynamic part-time (hard shoulder running) lanes.
    • Potential three laning between Lincoln Road and Royal Road (both directions).
    • Potential northbound auxiliary lanes on SH20 from Puhinui Rd on ramp to Massey off ramp and from Massey on ramp to SH20A off ramp.
    • Minor layout changes at CMJ:
  • Ramp signaling the SH16 eastbound to SH1 northbound and Port to SH1 northbound links separately.
  • Re-configuring the SH16 eastbound approach to CMJ to allow two lanes for AM peak queuing for the SH1 southbound link (merging to one lane before joining SH1) at the expense of one of the lanes leading to the port.

A second part of this assessment has still to be completed. This will relate to assessment of abnormal operations, mainly incidents. This assessment will include assessment of operating additional lanes as dynamic part-time running lanes (Hard Shoulder Running) to assist in incident management.

This is also shown in the diagram below

Waterview Operational Risk Assessment Mitigation Map

Below is an example of one of the modelling outputs It is a heatmap showing where, when the severity of congestion based on a scenario to a specific level of extra demand. As you can see the modelling suggests significant improvements to the motorway.

Waterview Operational Risk Assessment Heat Map example

There is no mention of just how much this mitigation will cost although the NZTA claim it will achieve $15 million in travel time savings per year.

The OIA also includes the minutes from a couple of workshops and they too contain some interesting information. I’ve just extracted a couple of items from each paper which are shown with the bullet points. The names/initials of the participants except for those from the NZTA have been removed so I’ve just used XX as a replacement.

Workshop 1

There’s a concern that because the NZTA are focusing on pumping as many cars off the motorways as possible it might now affect bus routes.

  • XX explained there would be more bus routes and increased frequency especially around Te Atatu and Lincoln Road. He expressed concern about the future reliability of these new services in light of the risk of congestion following the opening Waterview Connection

It sounds like AT want bus lanes or other layout changes to Blockhouse Bay Rd but that possibly the NZTA want it kept as is just in case something goes wrong with the tunnels.

  • XX mentioned that AT would be protecting Nelson Street capacity during peak times (CBD tactical team to maintain off-ramp capacity) from the motorway and with respect to planned work on the AT network. AT want to do any major maintenance work either before tunnel opening e.g. City bound buses lanes proposed for Blockhouse Bay Road.
  • XX mentioned that Blockhouse Bay Road would be a planned and incident diversion route for Waterview Tunnel closures and that if AT propose to reassign capacity, freed up by Waterview Connection, then these intentions of use of Blockhouse Bay Road could be in direct conflict with each other.

 

Workshop 2

Given this was in March of this year, how on earth were the NZTA not aware AT were looking at busway options for SH16?

  • XX talked about the need to consider the northwest busway with respect to the mitigation projects. XX mentioned there were some ‘medium term’ busway proposals to consider which include shoulder bus provision and highlighted a possible conflict.
  • XX NZTA now aware of a possible busway, need to know details and have a recommendation before deciding if there is a conflict. This has been passed on to the transport planning team at The Agency.

The minutes don’t say which school but given most of the focus seems to be around the Maioro St interchange, I’m guessing this refers to Wesley Intermediate. Why the school wouldn’t want kids to be safer is absurd.

  • XX said that the school did not support a mid-block crossing and preferred the provision to be provided at the intersection itself.

It seems the NZTA are planning a full interchange at Northside Dr near Westgate

  • GO, XX provided an update on Northside drive proposals, including consideration for a full diamond interchange.

So all up it seems we have the NZTA rushing to trying and add more motorway and local road capacity in a desperate bid to stop the shiny new centrepiece of their system from getting congested. What do you think of the papers?

82 comments to Waterview Mitigation Needed

  • David

    I’m curious how the operating cost of waterview tunnel is listed above as $16 million, yet the operating cost of the crl tunnels are listed as $50 million, rising to $80 million a year. That’s a huge difference, given the extract, fire systems etc are probably pretty similar?. I’d be interested in why there is such a big difference

  • Matthew W

    Or… they could use road pricing to manage these issues.

    • Ricardo

      Why? Road pricing will be the tool that will cause much antagonism to the CRL. Quit expecting motorists to fund alternative transport.

      • conan

        Make it a revenue neutral demand management tool and there shouldn’t be any complaints.

      • Max

        Typical Ricardo statement. Road pricing to manage ROAD congestion is somehow a PT funding stream. It SHOULD be, but you’re still acting as if somehow road congestion is something that deserves all our priority, but lack of PT capacity ain.t

        • No you misunderstand dear Ricardo; he isn’t interested in ‘solving’ congestion, but creating ever more of it. That’s what endless road building does, and that’s what he tirelessly advocates for…. wake up and inhale the particulates!

      • So what?

        Spend it all on roads. Give it to Auckland’s poor. Whatever, the point is to defeat congestion – not raise revenue.

        In fact I like giving it to the poor because they’re disproportionately affected by such a toll, and they have little political sway, so it will not become just another tax (just a congestion management tool).

    • Brian

      Waterview opens in 6 months. Pricing will take many years to implement properly.

      That said, what a cock up by NZTA. And we’re meant to trust their transport modelling?

      • Guy M

        One thing the Basin Bridge Board of Enquiry showed in Wellington last year, was that there is wide-ranging differences between the different methods of transport modelling. Depending on what method they used, they got very different results. And then there is the interpretation of the data, which gives different outcomes as well. One thing became obvious – traffic prediction is not a science, but just a guestimation.

      • Matthew W

        True but they could put some Northern Gateway style gantries up in a few strategic locations in the mean time, and just use the existing infrastructure.

  • Bruce

    A big concern is that the Manukau-SH1 link is already overloaded southbound. It simply will not cope with any additional traffic until such time as an extra lane (probably 2) are added through to Papakura. This blockage affects the entire motorway network as traffic backs up all the way to the CBD as a result.

    • Brian

      They’re building an extra lane right now.

      • Bruce

        Yeah 1 extra lane that isn’t due to be completed until the end of TWO THOUSAND EIGHTEEN! Seriously what a joke…Why is it that other countries can build extra lanes on their motorways in a matter of months yet it takes us 2 and half years to do the same? It’s not exactly tricky either most of the land is good to go, same with the overpasses…. Let’s spend 2.5 years to add a single lane when it reality at least for some of that 2 additional lanes will be (are) needed.

        • Adam W

          THe south bound is due by the end of 2017, it’s the north bound by 2018.

        • Sailor Boy

          “Why is it that other countries can build extra lanes on their motorways in a matter of months yet it takes us 2 and half years to do the same?”

          We don’t use slaves and actually care if construction workers die.

          • Bruce

            So Spain, France, Germany, USA, Canada are using slaves to build their motorways now? News to me!
            Last I checked they weren’t having lots of construction workers dying either! What they likely don’t have a bit by bit approach and they just get on with it. In most cases they also build with more permanent and less maintenance required rigid pavement rather than our cheap and nasty flexible pavements which need to be resurfaced 2 minutes after they are built.

          • @Bruce I can’t speak to all of Canada, but for roads under the jurisdiction of the Province of British Columbia (which would be the most similar topographically to NZ) there is a total of 89148 lane/km of which only 132 is concrete, so rigid pavements are hardly a common option. Flexible pavements have much lower upfront costs than rigid (concrete), which is one of the reasons that they’re typically used (note the low cost of oil is making that even more attractive).

          • Brian

            Also the southern motorway widening is complicated by the need to upgrade the Takanini interchange. Otherwise it probably would be a shorter build time.

          • Bruce

            Yes Canada probably has a lower amount of rigid pavement (but still does have some) than some of those other places primarily because it’s so damn cold (many places get below -40degC!) Rigid pavement doesn’t tend to like being frozen as it can’t expand much. Same goes for when it gets hot (over 40degC in many places in Canada) for the few days of summer that Canada gets it can’t expand much. Compared to NZ or most of those other places those temperature variations are much greater (NZ has about 40degC variation at most, USA tends to have around 50degC, Germany also around 50degC, Canada is the out-layer at 80degC+ variation in a lot of places although in Southern BC it is probably more like 60degC).

          • Sailor Boy

            “So Spain, France, Germany, USA, Canada are using slaves to build their motorways now? ”

            No, they also don’t build their motorways any quicker.

          • Bruce

            If you say so Sailor boy…

          • James C

            There’s also a matter of how well aa accelerated works will last in the long run. I’ve seen some bridging works in the UK and Netherlands performed over a matter of days with prefabricated structures, but which went on to require repeated remedial work for years because the refilling was done too quickly to get a reliable and stable substrate for the over paving. The substructures being used in the Takanini-Papakura are vastly superior and at least partly explain the time taken. the other thing would be the relatively small pool of workers and equipment available here. Similar projects in Europe or the USA would be drawing teams from all over the continent to knock out the job ASAP before rolling off to the next disruption site.

        • Same Old

          I think Bruce should start a consultant and/or contracting business and show us how it’s done. Those who have been doing it for years obviously don’t know anything and we will benefit from his armchair comments. Steve Hansen should probably give him a call for some selection advice as well.

    • Gary Young

      There may not be that much additional traffic flowing through the Manukau – SH1 interchange as a whole.

      Won’t it simply be the same average quantity of vehicles driving north to south through the region but some which now take SH1 all the way will switch to using the western bypass route instead?

      Thus, traffic on SH1 will reduce while traffic on SH20 increases by roughly the same amount.

      • Bigted

        As long as on-ramp lights are at either end of SH20 the traffic will more likely stay on SH16 and SH1 as any time saved on SH20 is lost again rejoining at the other end. These ramp signals when installed were only going to be on during peak time, peak time does not last anywhere as long as the signals are on.

        • Realist

          The reason it takes years is we have transport officials who spend their whole time in workshops and getting consultant reports written rather than just getting on with it!

  • PeterP

    It’s particularly disappointing that they’re looking at the mitigation only now. It’s pretty obvious that the tunnels will deliver a torrent of traffic trying to get into the city via SH16 in the mornings and a lot of traffic towards west in the afternoon (a lot of ppl work around the airport district and lives west and north-west).
    The statement “XX mentioned there were some ‘medium term’ busway proposals to consider which include shoulder bus provision and highlighted a possible conflict” is completely mind boggling – how could NZTA not be aware of the plans? Why they haven’t planned for it from the beginning?
    This doesn’t spark a lot of confidence that NZTA can even start to phantom what’s necessary to ease congestion in Auckland (ie. more quality public transport options).

  • conan

    Am I reading this wrong or are the previously touted bus shoulders now going to become a peak time traffic lane?

  • What a complete fiasco. This highlights the fundamental contradiction that the urban roading industry is founded on: denial of induced demand, then reliance on the induced traffic from the last project to justify the next…

    These problems were nowhere to be seen in the business case, then it’s all glorious free running and sweet time savings, a nirvana of tarmac, forever blissfully available and performing amazing things like carbon emission reduction [I kid you not], and freeing up local roads for things communities actually want; Transit services, separated bike lanes, and the ability to wander around safely.

    Having sold this vision of bliss [while being forced by the Environment Court to actually fund a small amount of actual community benefit], on the eve of opening we discover what they, and we, really knew all along. New massive urban highways generate traffic, and in particular facilitate new clots of traffic in destructive patterns, destructive to their own functioning and networks, and particularly destructive the fabric of their host city.

    So ‘using hard shoulders’, which of course are supposed to be the bus lanes, as NZTA ‘forgot’ to include any Rapid Transit on this route despite the fact that they know the Northern Busway is the most efficient and effective part of SH1 North of the city. Local road super sizing for general traffic, not local road calming and re-purposing because of new bypass?

    The whole process of transport project evaluation is flawed and fraudulent, and urgently needs taking out of the tarmac junkie’s hands.

    • conan

      We can of course expect those protectors of the public purse, Brewer, Wood and Quax to act in force on this to ensure no ratepayers’ money is spent fixing this cock up.

    • PeterP

      we seriously need a ‘like’ button here 🙂

    • Christopher T

      Thanks to Matt for exposing this farrago of self-interested cupidity for what it is; and to Patrick for articulating my thoughts on the matter so succinctly, yet again.

    • Waspman

      But Patrick, several firms and their shareholders have made a fortune from this shambles and that is what is matters most!

    • Nick

      Yes, far from ignoring induced demand, NZTA very deliberately manipulates it. Excludes it from their models when it would provide a reason for not building roads, includes it when it’s a driver for building roads. I’m disgusted by this.

      I wonder if the NZTA has modelled what impact this project and its associated induced demand and the additional induced demand-relieving roads, and their associated induced demand will have on NZ meeting its targets under the Paris agreement?

      • Realist

        All the more criminal given the eye watering sums involved in building these motorway projects.

      • Christopher T

        I suspect the word Paris, agreement or no agreement (it will be ignored, anyhow), is verboten to our NZTA masters. I mean the authorities there rip out motorways (for Seine-side beaches) and ban cars. Whatever next: new métros or something?

      • The real answer is for NZTA and AT to have KPIs with actual FALLING private motor vehicle VKT per capita targets. This would be entirely consistent with strategic plan aims including pollution, and liveability outcomes, and line items in the Auckland Plan like ;’a transformational modal shift to Public Transit’. In other words that KPI is already there but not expressed in any documents, and both agencies actually commit the bulk of their budgets to projects that have the opposite outcome, whether they admit it or not.

        Also NZTA’s Economic Evaluation Manual needs to no longer glide over the problem of induced traffic and actually count it against the value of proposed projects. After all it does create increased burdens for city and country. Essentially it is time for the ‘industry’ to be honest about what it does in regards to this contradiction: massive projects funded on the basis of ‘relieving’ congestion must also carefully evaluate if they aren’t really more likely to add to the problem at a citywide scale. NZTA and their consultants and modellers must stop ‘zooming in’ as it were, to claim congestion and carbon benefits for an individual project that will clearly actually add more driving to the system as a whole. More wholistic evaluation is required. Currently their methods at the least appear fraudulent in effect, even if they may not be in intention…?

        Real falling (per capita) VKT targets would help make this problem more present in our public servants minds.

        • Max

          I know I’ll sound too “middle of the road” for many – but even a target of “0 added vehicle trips” (more politically acceptable, presumably) would be a great first step – and would still require that shift in thinking and acting, as the growing city’s need need for more people moving around would then need to be accommodated by adding walking, cycling, PT capacity.

        • conan

          Would be great if NZTA was also forced to estimate the local roading effects of their projects and more importantly the burden that will fall on ratepayers as a result. The current push for the AWHC by the supposedly fiscally conservative candidates in the upcoming council elections would then need to be balanced against promises about flat rate rises and ‘cutting waste’.

  • mfwic

    Sounds like I have less than 6 months to shift house. When Waterview opens they will funnel a huge amount of traffic via the Upper Harbour to an existing bottleneck at Paul Matthews that is already at its limit. Some ring route! All that money so they can push Harbour Bridge traffic our way.

    • Guy M

      Hold on mfwic – i thought you were the one who was very much pro car? Surely you would be happy having a whole lot more cars coming your way?

      • mfwic

        Cars are a great idea. Ring routes too. But these imbeciles decided the first section of their ring route would be the SH18- Greenhithe to SH1 part and then promptly dropped the bit out from Paul Matthews to SH1 on the grounds that it was too difficult and said they would do that bit last instead. So now we have an incomplete ring route that gets far too much traffic diverted to it by a completely daft management system that sees the harbour bridge dropped to three lanes in one direction every peak hour. Jesus wept, these people are clowns. Mega millions on a tunnel that didn’t need to be a tunnel and an incomplete road.

        • Love it; of course the problem with mega roading projects is that they’re never quite big enough to work properly, eh? Just a few more lanes here, and there, and then duplicate it to make it really work….

          The infinity engine.

          • mfwic

            I understand your cynicism here but they left the end off this one. We told them at the hearing back around 2002 that this was daft but under the NOR system they can do whatever stupidity they want. How the hell is anyone going to get out of Greenhithe other than by walking?

          • Sailor Boy

            I agree with you mfwic. Waterview gets all the traffic on the ring route, it should have been the last section finished.

  • Peter Nunns

    This is not a good look. Not at all.

  • stu donovan

    Will Waterview become NZTA’s Waterloo?

    • Couldn’t escape if I wanted to?

      • Stu Donovan

        Waterview knowing my fate is to be with you
        Waterview finally facing my Waterview

        My my
        I tried to hold you back, but you were stronger

        • MFD

          Dirty old river, must you keep rolling
          Flowing into the night
          People so busy, makes me feel dizzy
          Taxi light shines so bright
          But I don’t need no friends
          As long as I gaze on Waterview sunset
          I am in paradise

          • Stu Donovan

            I met her in a club down Dominion Rd
            Where you drink diesel fuel and it tastes just like cherry cola
            See-O-L-A cola.

            She drove up to me and she asked me to dance.
            I asked her name and in a dark brown voice she said, “Waterview”
            W-A-T-E-R View, lo lo lo lo Waterview.

          • MFD

            Kinky!

            When you’re weary, feeling small
            When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all (all)
            I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
            And friends just can’t be found
            Like a view over troubled water
            I will lay me down
            Like a view over troubled water
            I will lay me down

            (with acknowledgements to Simon Bridges Garfunkel)

            …but on a more serious note, isn’t Waterview Tunnel an ironic oxymoron? I guess Taillightview Tunnel doesn’t have the same bucolic appeal

          • Stu Donovan

            To break out of song and banter for a doggone minute, I’d say you’re doggone right. The inherent contradiction in the name Waterview tunnel was staring me in the face the whole time, isn’t it ironic? Here’s a song some Canadian wrote for the NZTA:

            Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
            When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right
            And life has a funny way of helping you out when
            You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up
            In your face

            A traffic jam when you’re already late

            A little too ironic…and, yeah, I really do think…

          • MFD

            I prefer another Canadian (the incomparable Joni Mitchell): They paved paradise…

            but I am guessing that this captures the NZTA zeitgeist:

            Wir fahr’n fahr’n fahr’n auf der Autobahn

            Vor uns liegt ein weites Tal
            Die Sonne scheint mit Glitzerstrahl

            Die Fahrbahn ist ein graues Band
            Weisse Streifen, gruener Rand

            Jetzt schalten wir ja das Radio an
            Aus dem Lautsprecher klingt es dann:
            Wir fah’rn auf der Autobahn…

            Gute farte on your travels!

          • mfwic

            Waterview!
            Wateriew!
            Where will you meet your Waterview?
            Every puppy has his day everybody has to pay
            everybody has to meet his Waterview
            (Stonewall Jackson)

    • Dgd

      no it will not be their Waterloo, NZTA has no interest in public opinion and will never attempt to explain when its schemes look very flawed to outside observers. Despite all the negativity and outright vitriol, that waterview end gracefully sweeping flyover with its futuristic Jetson-like purposeful sleekness must inspire the fume choking congested plebs grounded below to a time when they sail skywards above the CO2 then gently down to the new fast citybound western motorway lanes…
      I hope that at the opening ceremony all of the ex-Waterview residents whose homes were demolished to make way for this wonderous roading miracle, will enjoy the self satisfying smugness of the various pollyticians and NZTA officals as they congratulate themselves on a job well done and expound its plentiful benefits for Auckland.
      I can’t imagine an event more suited to some well aimed rotten eggs. Please be there Gerry and Simon

      • Bruce

        Dgd… could Auckland have used the funding towards better public transport? Yes. Is building an alternative motorway route to a singular motorway that regularly shuts down due to an incident with pretty much no alternative a reasonable option in a city that has tripled in population since that motorway was built (and due to be 4x that original population within a couple of decades)? YES.
        Now if you issue is with traffic and induced demand then sure other measures are needed (Fuel tax, tolls, time of use tolls). If we cut the amount of driving per capita in half then we would still need the WRR even with current population let alone another 500,000 people in this city.
        Houses get bought out all the time for various projects (including for PT). The owners got a fare price and plenty of notice (as well as having a fare idea for over a decade) so wheres the harm?

  • Jim

    In Auckland the main issues for improving PT are heavy rail to the airport, a rail tunnel from the CBD to the North Shore and the CRL.
    But the NZTA excludes all these and has plans to;
    increase buses and motorways to the airport,
    to build an East West road to Onehunga and a large spaghetti junction at Onehunga
    To build a road only tunnel to the Shore.
    So far the NZTA hasn’t committed to the CRL.
    The NZTA is not listening to the people and prefer cars.

  • Harriet

    Actually the tunnel has a really simple solution close Sh20-16 City ramps to traffic except trucks, buses and emergency traffic then it won’t flood full of sov traffic from Southern Isthmus

    • PeterP

      Why build it in the first place then? For the amount of money sank there we could have had a number of other projects delivered that actually help with congestion.

    • Nick R

      Yeah so much for the western ring route, it apparently requires ten lanes between the tunnel and town.

      • Harriet

        Yeah strange I think building those ramps was a mistake that was contrary to projects supposed purpose, though correction I should have said closed during peak above though, no reason we shouldn’t use them off peak

        • TheBigWheel

          That makes a lot of sense.. but how would it work in practice? Traffic turning left at Manukau would need to be alerted to the fact that the ramps are closing / opening. How about tolling the ramps at peak time?!

  • Waspman

    Te Atatu Rd is a mess now and sure it’s one of those never ending council road works scenes but it’s a suburban road, not an extension of the motorway. It can’t cope with what is using it now.

    St Lukes Rd off ramp west bound. Despite a complete redesign and a massive spend up it jams up just like before because it is not full double lanes and also because it has a traffic lit intersection with St Lukes Rd that can’t cope and because of the same thing just over the bridge at Great North Road, itself a massive spend up with few benefits.

    “Ramp signaling the SH16 eastbound to SH1 northbound”. It is already and it locks up traffic spectacularly like good ramp lights do to an intersection.

    In short there is always more than enough money to waste on motorways but never a budget worth talking about anywhere else.

  • What are the predictions for traffic volumes running through Pt Chev / Westmere / Herne Bay in the morning and afternoon peaks?

  • I have a cheap solution: just don’t open the SH20-SH16 city facing ramps.

  • If this project is to infarct under its own contradictions wait till we get to the big daddy of urban destruction that NZTA are currently excitedly working on. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet:

    http://transportblog.co.nz/2016/02/09/awhc-where-does-all-the-new-traffic-go/

  • Dgd

    So has Goff committed to a PT AWHC, heavy rail?

  • Anthony

    The SH16-SH20 ramp metering was never part of the original plan. Neither was merging 2 lanes prior to the tunnel. It used to only have a single lane from the city.
    I hear Febuary as a finish date for tunnel works.
    Blockhouse Bay Rd bus lane is also news to me. Where will it go? Is there going to be a GNR busway for it to connect to?

  • Chris

    You’re all missing the point. You’re not supposed to live on an isthmus, when it’s the biggest city in the country, and you’re certainly not meant to have your own cars any longer. Take the bus, or go and live in Ohakune.

  • Michael

    Has anyone seen/heard of any updates on this?? It’s getting mighty close to April and they seem to be making final touches from Great North to Western Springs. No movement on the auxillary lane between the two. Dreading the day the tunnels open without the additional lane. Eeek.

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