A new lane has opened on a section of Auckland's Southern Motorway, which Transport Minister Simon Bridges says will help ease bottlenecks and improve journeys for motorists.
The additional southbound lane has now been opened between Hill Rd and the Takanini interchange, and between the Takanini southbound onramp to the Pahurehure Inlet as part of the Southern Corridor Improvements project.
Further improvements will extend the extra lanes southbound and northbound on State Highway 1, and the upgrade of the Takanini Interchange will provide new ramps for better traffic flow and easier access to the motorway. The project is due to be completed in 2019.
"The $268 million project is one of the Government's accelerated transport projects for the Auckland region and will add extra lanes in both directions as well as upgrading the Takanini Interchange," Bridges said.
"The Southern Corridor connects Auckland and Northland to the rest of the country.
The improvements will improve safety and journey reliability in the short-term while supporting the rapid population growth in the south of the region in the next 30 years.
"It's great to see the sections of extra southbound lanes now open in preparation for the opening of the Waterview Connection to ensure there's enough capacity for the additional traffic joining State Highway 1 from State Highway 20," said Bridges.
There is still no date for the opening of the $1.4 billion twin tunnel, which will complete a second route through Auckland, bypassing the city centre.
The delays have been caused by an intermittent fault in the software for the jet fan and water extraction pump system, which are part of the deluge system, according to the NZ Transport Agency.
This afternoon, Bridges will open the first stage of the East-West link between SH20 at Onehunga and Mt Wellington, which will cost between $1.2b and $1.8b.