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Junction gets $140m upgrade

SPAGHETTI junction, Auckland’s major motorway bottleneck, is in for a $140 million upgrade to be finished in two and a half years.

This is the most Transit New Zealand has spent on a single Auckland project, says regional manager, Wayne McDonald.

The addition of the new links will result in a more efficient system that will provide nine on-ramps, eight off-ramps and four motorway-to-motorway connections.

A “design and construct” contract has been awarded to a joint venture comprising Fletcher Construction and Leighton Contractors (one of Australia’s largest construction companies) for the upgrading of the main section of central motorway junction (aka spaghetti junction).

Design work has been subcontracted to Auckland-based consultants Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner.

The 27-month project that starts in January involves upgrading the existing motorway junction of State Highway (SH) 1 and SH16, improving capacity and completing the links between the northern, north western and southern motorways, as well as access to Grafton Gully and the port.

Currently, traffic volumes through the CMJ average 200,000 vehicles per day, and major delays and congestion are being experienced both on the present motorway system and local streets in the area due to the junction’s inefficiencies.

A $55m project at the junction to widen the approaches along the southern motorway from Gillies Ave to Symonds Street is well underway and due for completion in January 2005, McDonald says.