Wellington St on ramp to re-open
Good to see pressure from commuters and residents has forced a re-think on the closure of the Wellington Street on-ramp.
The NZ Transport Agency will re-open the on-ramp in the city’s busy Central Motorway Junction in about six weeks. It closed in May last year.
It was to open last November but then got “deferred” to see how traffic went after the opening of the Victoria Park tunnel.
From my vantage point living over in Brisbane, where traffic flows well, I have been bemused by the stupidity of the previous decision but I gather it has been no laughing matter for commuters and locals.
Inner city, especially Herne Bay residents have continued to email me complaining about how bad the flow on effects of the closure have been.
NZTA says before it is open there will be the installation of ramp signals and final pavement works “to ensure it is safe to use.
It say the decision was made after a detailed investigation by the NZTA, Auckland Transport, Opus Consultants and Beca Engineering of the potential effects on Auckland’s transport network from re-opening the on-ramp or keeping it closed.
The NZTA’s acting State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Steve Mutton, said the agency and Auckland Transport would be discussing the re-opening plans with local residents and other interested parties over the next few weeks.
Mr Mutton said the NZTA and AT received 710 submissions about the on-ramp: 72% of those submissions wanted it re-opened, 18% preferred it to stay closed to general traffic and 10% wanted a partial re-opening-
He says the recommendation to re-open the ramp is based on a transport assessment which indicates there is current capacity for vehicles to use Wellington Street without affecting the performance of the motorway in central Auckland, except for a period in the afternoon peak.
“These findings, together with the feedback we have received from the community, have lead us to support the recommendation from our working group for an opening at this time.”
“While there is room now on the motorway network to re-open Wellington Street, capacity is expected to reduce over time as the network has to accommodate more and more vehicles. The NZTA and Auckland Transport will be working together to monitor and manage the performance of the motorways and local roads, including the Wellington Street on-ramp,”
“Previously between seven and eight thousand vehicles used the on-ramp every day. The critical time is the weekday afternoon peak. The Vic Park tunnel improvements mean traffic is moving more quickly and ramp signalling will help ensure the motorway operates efficiently and safely for all drivers”.
Read the review here