Auckland Transport’s latest board meeting reports that an upgrade to Tiverton Road and Wolverton Street in New Windsor (between Mt Roskill and New Lynn) is likely to be fast-tracked as a project for completion before October next year. This corridor is shown below – with the red section indicating the part of the road upgraded a few years back and the blue section showing that yet to be upgraded, but which now forms part of the project proposed for completion over the next year and a half. As you can see from the map above the corridor is a key connection between State Highway 20 and west Auckland. Maioro Street was upgraded to a four-lane arterial as part of the Mt Roskill extension project, while Clark Street has been upgraded by Waitakere City Council as part of the New Lynn transport initiatives: just leaving the section in between.

The project was meant to be finished by the time the Mt Roskill motorway extension opened – back in 2009. However, Auckland City Council deferred the project to save money, and the result has been some pretty significant congestion because of the bottleneck the remaining two-lane section has created. A bit more background in the project is outlined below: So, how does the project stack up against the measurements I established when assessing Penlink? Well, in terms of its cost-benefit ratio, it very strongly ‘stacks up’ as shown below: As noted above, the road is a potentially very useful east-west bus connector: with a fair few bus routes using it at the moment. From what I’ve seen of the design there’s no dedicated bus priority measures included, which is a bit of a pity, but buses should still benefit from reduction in congestion that will occur from removing the bottleneck. So I think it does OK in terms of not hugely exaggerating our auto-dependency, I also hope that providing better access to areas like New Lynn might encourage further development there: a very transit-friendly bit of Auckland.

More detail on the project is outlined below: I think overall it’s good for Auckland Transport to fast-track this project. It certainly appears to offer excellent value for money and is necessary to remove a bottleneck along this important east-west corridor. I guess I hope that the stronger east-west connection will eventually lead to a better quality public transport route being offered in this area.

Update: Jon C from Auckland Trains was at the board meeting of Auckland Transport and reports that funding for the project wasn’t agreed upon – only that the project was supported ‘in principle’.

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  1. It is upgrades like this that the government should have focused money on rather than massive motorways, of course small upgrades like this aren’t as sexy. 50-100 of these types of projects in Northland would likely provide much more benefit to the local and national economy than a single stretch of motorway that will only save 5 minutes, whats more they would probably employ more people as well (plus those people would be from Northland so even more benefit for them).

  2. I often used to wonder why the Waterview connection was needed, when in reality an upgrade of Tiverton, Wolverton and Maioro and a link to Rosebank Rd would actually be more beneficial to freight needs and a lot of bus users as well. As Matt L suggests, too simple?

  3. Frankly this is Auckland City Council stuffing up, as it has royally with the local road network for decades. It has been incompetent in local traffic management and has not prioritised local roads projects, I can only hope Auckland Transport can do a better job. This isn’t a Nat-Lab thing, it is a local government issue as it would have got NZTA/LTNZ approval years ago if Auckland City did its job properly.

    It should have been opened along with Mt Roskill. As such it ought to delay Waterview which in my view is premature until there is regular congestion on corridors between SH16 and SH20.

    The legacy of Auckland City’s local roading stuff ups is dotted across the isthmus, my favourite is the el-cheapo South eastern arterial built with a traffic light controlled intersection on a 4-lane otherwise grade separated highway, with below standard geometry and widths.

    1. Agreed, of course the old Auckland City Council never put off resanding the eastern beaches or upgrading footpaths in the eastern suburbs.

      1. To be honest I like the idea that the old council might have been re-sanding beaches rather than widening roads, as it is the beaches of Auckland that makes it special and not 4 lane roads through the suburbs. But I doubt that was really the case, and guess you were implying an east/west divide more than beach/road.

        1. Its not about the beaches or an east/west divide but about the former councillors looking after their own backyard, if the budget needed to be cut the thing that got cut was somewhere else.

  4. When Waterview is finished this route will be extremely congested. Remember SH18 through Hobsonville will be finsihed next year and it will be a so waterview will be the SH1 for traffic wanting to miss the Harbour Bridge/Spaghetti Junction and anybody going to the airport from the North and the Central City.. If they toll Waterview the toll dodgers will use this road as well.

    Try to travel along the NW Motorway after 4PM- its a crawl Do you think adding 1 lane is going to compensate for all the extra traffic coming via Waterview? The new interchange at Waterview is going to be one part of the road network everybody will be trying to avoid!

    1. Well according to NZTA there will be no extra traffic, it will just be exactly the same traffic shifted from Great North Rd to the new motorway with no net change… apparently.

  5. the issue is every time a road like this is moved from 2 lanes to 4 it becomes much more dangerous/unpleasant for pedestrians, and similarly for bus users. Thus makes the area more car dependant, and thus more traffic.

    Generally SH20 users have no reasonable PT option, who wants to sit on a bus for 35mins+ to get to Onehunga when the motorway takes 15.

    Should have an express bus that runs New Lynn – Onehunga via SH20, then onto Mangere, Aiport Oaks and Airport. Would connect at Onehunga for Penrose, Otahuhu, Mt Wellington.

  6. The current design for this was done back in 2005 & appears severely constrained. Apparently some of identified landtake wasn’t completed creating additional constraints. Pedestrians will get to walk on narrow footpaths with fences/walls hard up against one side & 4 lanes of cars on the other. The route is on the regional cycle network but the narrow kerbside lanes proposed won’t do cyclists heading to the SH20 cycleway any favours. There is no mention of PT. Don’t believe the hype!

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