Owners of 18 homes along Auckland's Lincoln Rd face having to sell and move out, while seven residential and 78 commercial properties would lose part of their land to the road's $85m upgrade.

Nine of those having their property bought by the transport agency responsible for the upgrade had virtually no choice as their land would be needed to make way for the road widening.

• See also: Lincoln Rd's urban transformation

The Lincoln Road Corridor Improvement project, jointly funded by Auckland Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency, would see an additional bus and T3 transit lane and a cycleway added to either side of the road by 2023.

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The first nine properties being bought to make way for the project were in the areas at the north-west corner of Triangle Rd and near the Daytona Reserve.

An artist's impression of the planned Lincoln Rd upgrade. Image / AT
An artist's impression of the planned Lincoln Rd upgrade. Image / AT

AT spokesman Mark Hannan said the planned road expansion would encroach on another nine properties.

"Because we will be potentially diminishing the environment for nine other homes adjacent to the original nine, we have offered to buy these other houses as well."

He said to date, six had voluntarily accepted the offer and negotiations were continuing with the others.

Properties that didn't need to be demolished, but were bought by AT, would be transferred to Auckland Council to be used or sold for development - the proceeds would offset the purchase price of each property.

In addition to the 18 AT was looking to buy, it also needed to purchase strips of land from the front of 94 commercial properties and seven residential properties along the length of the road to Te Pai Place.

Jack Ross, 85, has lived in his house on Lincoln Rd since the 1950s and he sees this project as forming part of the inevitable change that comes with a rapidly growing city.

The Henderson suburb had seen significant growth over his time, with a population growing from 2,750 in the Henderson Borough in 1957, to a total 14,120 in Henderson today - across the wider region the population numbered 119,900.

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Lincoln Rd, where Ross lives is one of the busiest arterial routes west of the city, which according to the latest AT street count on August 2 this year was used by an average 46033 vehicles from Monday to Friday.

Traffic at peak hour times in the morning, midday and afternoon ranges from 3095 to 3363, causing a backlog that sees motorists crawling for a kilometre or two along Lincoln Rd, stopped occasionally by one of the four sets of traffic lights along the stretch from Te Pai to the motorway.

Traffic city-bound on Auckland's Northwestern Motorway, at the Lincoln Rd interchange, is at a stand-still after a crash near Te Atatu in February 2015. Photo / Dean Purcell
Traffic city-bound on Auckland's Northwestern Motorway, at the Lincoln Rd interchange, is at a stand-still after a crash near Te Atatu in February 2015. Photo / Dean Purcell

NZTA said the stretch of road had a poor safety record, with 446 crashes in the four years to 2012 - with 36 per cent of crashes happening as cars turned and crossed the road.

The transport agency hoped the upgrade would help ease the traffic and help provide space for a bus interchange near the motorway.

The final detailed designs of the road upgrade, to be carried out by AT, along with budget allocations, would be completed by the end of 2018.

Ross' property was one of those affected by the road's development. AT had written to him about the need to purchase 43sq m from the rear boundary of his property, as well as an additional 78sq m to be rented throughout the period of construction.

As compensation he would be paid the difference of the value of the property as it is now and the value once AT had purchased a section of the land and public works in the area was completed.

An additional 10 per cent of the agreed land value to a maximum of $25,000 and reimbursement costs would also be paid.

Ross said there was little he could do to contest the plans.

The Public Works Act 1981 gave officials the legal right to acquire any land, building, or structure required for any Government work.

"Progress, I suppose you can't do much about it."