Property editor of the NZ Herald

Take a 90-second drive through future Auckland

New Western Ring Route to make it easier to get around

Take a 90-second drive through Auckland with its motorways upgraded and expanded after $2.4 billion worth of works.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has released an animation showing the effects of a completed Western Ring Route, revealing work already done but also under way and continuing for the next few years.

The 48km motorway will make the flow of traffic through and around Auckland easier, NZTA says, reducing congestion on local roads and linking Manukau, the central city, west Auckland and the North Shore.

The video shows the Northwestern Motorway upgraded, the Upper Harbour Highway Connection, Lincoln to Westgate, and the Waterview tunnels. Cycle routes alongside motorways, including underpasses, are also shown in the fly-through. Views are from above and on the motorway and cycling networks.

Brett Gliddon, the agency's Auckland highway manager, explained more.

"The Western Ring Route is an additional route to State Highway 1, providing better connections and giving motorists the choice to bypass the central city. The animation also shows the improved links to the airport as well as new shared paths to make it easier and safer for cyclists and pedestrians," Gliddon said.

The twin-tunnel Waterview Connection is due to be opened early next year.

The Western Ring Route is one of the Government's Roads of National Significance projects because of its benefits to New Zealand's economy, the agency said.

However, the project is some years away from being completed.

Matt Lowrie of lobbyists Transportblog, said he had seen the animation which he did not think was special. Although he found it interesting, he has reservations about the whole project.

"Obviously it's good the works are finally coming to an end for people who live out west. It's been more than five years of disrupton and frustration. But the biggest problem with the works is they haven't built the busway as part of it, along the Northwestern Motorway so now it will have to be put in at greater cost," he said.

- NZ Herald

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