Traffic congestion around Auckland today is officially worse than what it was yesterday, according to figures from road authorities.
The AA's congestion-monitoring tool shows there were heavier delays this morning, particularly on the Northern Motorway, where the trip into the city centre from Albany peaked at around 80 minutes at 6.30am.
In comparison, that trip at the same time last Tuesday was about 15 minutes.
The data - based on Google travel time information - also indicated that more motorists were up earlier today in a bid to beat the traffic on the Northern Motorway.
"Travel times really started to build from about 5.30am," a statement said.
By 7.30am, motorists were being told to go back to the harbour bridge as the alternative Western Ring Route was taking "well over two hours" to use to travel into the city.
The alert was issued after reports travel time via State Highways 18, 16 and 20 is taking about two-and-a-half hours.
"Please consider using SH1 south and allow extra time," Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency said.
A photographer in Massey, West Auckland, this morning said it had taken him 60 minutes to get from Don Buck Rd to the intersection near the Royal Rd on-ramp on to SH16.
"That's not onto the motorway - that's just getting to the junction," he said.
"The only way you're moving forward is when someone gives up and turns around, not because traffic is getting any better."
It is traffic groundhog day in Auckland, with commuters once again in heavy traffic as work is due to begin to repair the city's broken harbour bridge.
Commuters found themselves stuck in heavy congestion even before 6am as they tried to beat the morning rush and it only got worse from there.
Traffic cameras just before the Auckland Harbour Bridge showed long snaking lines of vehicles trying their best to get into the city.
Just before 7.30am, transport authorities put out an alert telling drivers to go to the city via SH1 - and the bridge - as the back way via the Western Ring Route is now taking "well over 2.5 hours".
It seems despite people's efforts to find an alternative way into the city centre, they are facing a long wait this morning.
Google sending motorists around the bend
Motorists are being reminded that the SH1 Curran St on-ramp, northbound, is closed to the public as it has been set up as part of a bus priority system.
That closure is until further notice, Waka Kotahi NZTA says.
There are detours via Sarsfield St, Shelly Beach Rd, Jervois Rd, College Hill on to Beaumont St and then onto Fanshawe St on-ramp northbound.
Adding to the headache for those trying to get around traffic is that the Curran St on-ramp route is still showing up as an option via Google Maps and on GPS systems.
Traffic bad across Auckland
The alternative routes are into Auckland are also looking bad.
By 7.20am, a drive from Albany to Manukau - via the Western Ring Route - was taking two hours and 50 minutes, the NZTA says.
Last night, many people found themselves stuck in gridlock traffic in the area as they had not heard about the closure of the route to the public.
Once again, people living on the North Shore who work in downtown Auckland are being asked to consider working from home, using alternative routes into the city centre or adjusting their work hours so they are travelling at non-peak hours.
The NZTA's Auckland Motorways real-time traffic feature says it is taking 57 minutes to drive from Silverdale into the city via the bridge. That is usually a 17-minute trip, according to NZTA.
Anyone heading from Albany to go to Manukau is in for a trip taking about an hour and 10 minutes according to the site. Again, that trip usually takes about 24 minutes.
The drive into the CBD from Helensville, via the bridge, is about an hour and 48 minutes at the moment. Usually, that drive is about 37 minutes.
Work on the bridge to begin
Work on a temporary fix for Auckland's Harbour Bridge is likely to start tonight with the view of opening up two additional lanes later this week.
Auckland motorists are being warned significant delays are likely for several weeks until the permanent fix for the bridge is in place when all lanes will eventually be reopened and it is back operating at full capacity.
Yesterday the city's peak hour traffic appeared to last the entire day with motorists left at a standstill, especially around Curran St where the on-ramp onto SH1 was blocked off as part of a new priority bus lane introduced that afternoon.
Some motorists were unaware of the change and sat in the queue for an hour waiting to hop on the motorway before being told it was closed and then getting stuck in further traffic.
Traffic was reduced to a crawl along Jervois Rd, College Hill, Shelley Beach Rd and Beaumont St with cars at a standstill along Franklin Rd frustrated motorists desperate to get home.
Strauss Bessell, a health and safety officer left a Wellesley St job site at 3pm bound for Northcote, a journey that usually takes him 15-20 mins.
Google Maps sent him via the closed Curran St motorway on-ramp and he was still on the road at 7.30pm.
He told Focus Live reporter Will Trafford he'd decided to park up in the Westhaven carpark and head to Commercial Bay for dinner, before trying his luck again at 9pm.
Another motorist said they tried to reach the top of Shelly Beach Rd to head to Mt Eden.
"After travelling 200 metres in 45 mins turned right to travel back from where I had come - in total 1hr 30mins!"
The bridge's centre strut was damaged in a freak accident after strong winds of 128km/h blew two trucks over while they were driving over the bridge, causing damage to it on Friday afternoon.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency transport services general manager Brett Gliddon said bridge engineers were making good progress with both the temporary and permanent solutions.
The steel to temporarily repair the damaged strut had already arrived from Taranaki and he expected the installation would take between two to three nights.
The strut was in two pieces and bolted halfway up. The damaged bottom piece would be removed and replaced with some new steel which was currently being manufactured.
The southbound lanes would be closed between 9pm and 5am and traffic would be detoured to the Western Ring Route to allow for the work to be carried out.