The official opening of the Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth was celebrated on June 16, with a reduction in congestion and improved journeys now in place across North Auckland.
The new Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway opened to the public in the early hours of this morning and Waka Kotahi is anticipating a reduction in congestion and improved journeys across the north Auckland transport network after the first full day of operation.
Fletcher Construction Major Projects worked on this project with our joint venture partner Acciona on behalf of clients NX2 and Waka Kotahi. Together, the teams have delivered a safe, resilient, reliable new motorway connection for motorists. This includes commuters, tourists, and those travelling the freight triangle of Auckland, Waikato and Tauranga. The 18.5km extension to the four-lane motorway (State Highway 1) begins north from Johnstones Hill Tunnels to a tie in with the existing state highway north of Warkworth.
“Ara Tūhono has been designed to international standards to be one of the safest roads in New Zealand. The team working on the project has also gone above and beyond to protect and enhance the surrounding environment with care for existing flora and fauna, and careful new planting,” says Fletcher Construction GM of Major Projects Mike Elliot.
“We are very pleased with how the network has been flowing,” says Waka Kotahi Regional Manager Maintenance and Operations, Jacqui Hori-Hoult.
“We’re getting great feedback about the positive difference that the new route is having across the network, for both people and freight.
“With the bulk of journeys being made on State Highway 1, we expect to see ongoing improvements to safety, access and journeys for communities north of Auckland.
“It will take time for patterns to settle, and we are anticipating a slight increase in the overall number of vehicles on the state highway network today.
“People should be aware that the roads are likely to be very busy this week, as many people will take the opportunity to drive on the new road. But initial signs of how the network is working, and the wider benefits that Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth is bringing to the Northland region, are extremely positive,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.
Waka Kotahi is working closely with local council partners, who have reported no issues with congestion or queuing on local roads.
“We want to remind people to merge and change lanes safely, and to take time to become familiar with the new road layout.
“It will take time for people to get used to the changes. So, before starting your journey, it’d be worth paying careful attention to correct lane placement when you are on the road.”
Image source: © 2023 Fletcher Construction
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