A $19 million project to widen 2km of Auckland's Northern Motorway has been launched today, with construction set to begin next year.

The NZ Transport Agency project is expected to ease congestion at a significant bottleneck on State Highway 1 near Albany.

The project was officially launched by Prime Minister John Key.

It will widen the northbound motorway to three lanes between the Upper Harbour Highway and the Greville Rd interchange. The interchange will also be upgraded.


The Transport Agency's highways manager Tommy Parker said the section of motorway network required immediate attention.

"Already an average of 36,000 vehicles use this section of our network daily in an area facing rapid commercial and residential growth.

"It is also essential to give people more travel choices by making this area safer for cycling and walking, and to improve connections to and from local roads and the motorway."

Construction is due to finish in mid-2015.