The NZTA have now put online the info they presented at the open days and some of their ideas are fairly horrific. I’m not entirely sure if they are deliberately so scary as part of negotiating tactic to get people to agree to some of the lesser ideas or if these are what the engineers actually want to build.
For the motorway the NZTA have four concepts which range from motorway to motorway ramps through to a replica spaghetti junction. All concepts will see Paul Matthews Rd linked in directly to Constellation Rd and the section of SH18 from Albany Highway to SH1 turned to full motorway standard. It also appears that the link from SH1 to SH18 will go under the existing motorway rather than over it. The south facing ramps would go over the top of the motorway however the NZTA are saying that will have to happen in a future project. In an email to reader Anthony O’Mera they say further work on SH1 south of the interchange (i.e. more widening), is needed before the south facing ramps could be added.
Concept 1 seems to be a simply adding of the motorway links and widening of the section between Greville Rd and Constellation. This would undoubtedly be the cheapest and the least disruptive of all of the options.
Concept 2 takes concept 2 and takes it one step further by having a flying onramp from Albany Expressway to SH1 which I assume is take some of the traffic off the roundabouts.
Concept 3 takes concept 2 and injects it with copious amounts of steroids. Added to the mix are weaved lanes so that Grevelle/Albany Expressway bound traffic doesn’t mix with traffic joining SH1 from SH18
Concept 4 also has weaved lanes but drops the direct connection from Albany Expressway to SH1. It also drops the Greville Rd Northbound onramp.
Of the options, concept 3 and 4 with their extra weaved lanes seem like they come from the same school of thinking that gives us four lane wide local roads that blow to 9+ lane intersections in a bid to cater for each type of movement separately. Further while the interchange designs themselves might be able to move more vehicles, would the local roads be able to cope with that extra influx of cars.
That leaves concepts 1 and 2 and concept 2 might have the upper hand once the northern busway extension is also taken into consideration. There are just two options for the extension of the busway with concept 1 likely to be the quickest and cheapest to build. It also matches with the outcome of the last study into the area where the busway should go (it suggested keeping it on the eastern side of the motorway with a bus bridge to access the station itself).
The Busway Concept 2 might be quite useful as it also opens up the possibility of south Albany station which might come in very as the area develops over time.
The NZTA are now looking for feedback on their ideas before they progress them further however they haven’t said how long the feedback is open for so it would be best to get it in as soon as you can..
You can give us your feedback on these concepts by:
- Emailing us at [email protected]
- Calling us on 0800 NCIPROJECT (080624 776)
- Writing to us at: Northern Corridor Project Team NZ Transport Agency Private bag 106602 Auckland 1143
One last thing, In all the images the NZTA refers to the Albany Expressway as SH17, perhaps they forgot they handed the road over to Auckland Transport a few years ago.