Work is set to begin today that will see extra lanes and a path for bikes and pedestrians added on Auckland's Southern Motorway between Papakura and Drury.
The official start of construction for the State Highway 1 project was led this morning by Transport Minister Michael Wood.
The SH1 Papakura to Drury South project will see a third lane added in each direction, a shared path alongside the western side which will link in with the city-wide network, wide shoulders for future bus services and improved local road connections across the motorway.
"This project will mean a quicker and safer commute for many, as well as make the route more resilient with enhanced flood and seismic protections," Wood said today in a statement.
"The shared path will give more people the option to leave the car at home, helping to reduce congestion."
It comes as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, which is investing more than $6.8 billion in 20 road, public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure projects across the country as the Government looks to create jobs and help boost the country's post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
The project is expected to boost the South Auckland economy and create jobs for around 750 construction staff who are expected to be working on the first stage at some point. Around 110 people are currently working on the project.
“With an additional 120,000 people expected to live in the area over the next 30 years, these improvements will provide greater choice for how people in the local area travel to work, access local services or connect with family and friends,” Waka Kotahi national infrastructure delivery manager Andrew Thackwray said.
The first stage of construction covers works within the existing motorway boundaries from the north side of Papakura interchange to the BP motorway service centre north of Otūwairoa / Slippery Creek.
It will extend capacity improvements north of Papakura delivered by the Southern Corridor Improvements project and includes the replacement of the Park Estate Road overbridge.
A new noise wall on the eastern side of SH1 between Papakura interchange and the overbridge will also be installed.
The project will be constructed in phases over the next five years, with plans for future stages subject to resource consent approval.