The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has reiterated that any long-term solution to Hill Street won’t happen until the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway and Matakana link road are completed.
NZTA is working with Auckland Transport on short-term solutions, such as pedestrian access and optimising signal systems to improve traffic flow. However, Auckland relationships director Ernst Zollner says that a significant amount of the existing pressure on Hill Street will ease when the motorway extension and link road open.
Traffic modelling shows that building the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway will reduce the number of vehicles travelling through the Hill Street intersection by more than 7000 vehicles a day and, when both the motorway and the link road are finished, it will have a combined effect of removing more than 8500 vehicles a day.
“When the new motorway is finished in 2021, along with other upgrades such as the link road and the western collector, much of the current traffic will be able to bypass Warkworth,” Mr Zollner says.
NZTA is also understood to be concerned about the significant disruption any major reconfiguration of Hill Street would have on Warkworth.
NZTA and Auckland Transport announced last month that up to $2 million had been set aside to investigate design changes to the intersection.
This work will include looking at land acquisition and regulatory requirements needed before work can physically start, as well as revisiting designs that have been developed by both AT and the Warkworth community. These designs will form the list of options that will be considered by the project team.