Wellington St on-ramp open date set

Last updated 15:27 02/10/2012
Wellington St on-ramp
PETER ELEY/ Fairfax NZ

OPENING SOON: After a prolonged closure, the Wellington St on-ramp will re-open next week.

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After more than two years, a lot of consultation, and anger from residents, the Wellington St on-ramp is set to reopen next Monday.

Final work is underway to have the central Auckland on-ramp ready to re-open for traffic joining the northbound lanes of State Highway 1, an NZTA spokesman said.

The on-ramp was closed in May 2010 to allow for the development of the Victoria Park Tunnel.

Residents of Ponsonby, Herne Bay, St Mary's Bay and Freemans Bay objected to its ongoing closure saying it was pushing more traffic through suburban streets.

The NZTA and Auckland Transport agreed to re-open the on-ramp after a detailed investigation into its future use, which involved community feedback and detailed analysis of traffic using the motorway and local roads. 

NZTA's Steve Mutton said work had been underway to clearly mark lanes to help on-ramp and motorway traffic merge safely just before the entrance to the Victoria Park Tunnel.

"Ramp signals - to help regulate the flow of traffic joining the motorway - are already in place, and a new pedestrian crossing has been installed at the entrance to the on-ramp." 

To help people adjust to the new conditions, ramp signals will be operated from 8am to 8pm.  Ramp signals normally operate automatically only when needed - if there is an incident on the motorway network, or motorway traffic is heavy.  

"This is a safety measure we will use to help people. When drivers are used to the new layout, the ramp signals will only operate when needed, as they do elsewhere on our network." 

Mutton said drivers would need to be "alert and patient" as on-ramp traffic joins the motorway. 

"We expect that there will be delays and queuing, especially at peak times, as people adjust to the new driving conditions. With Wellington St so close to the tunnel entrance, people using the motorway and the on-ramp will need to drive with care and patience to help ensure they merge safely."

Mutton said re-opening the Wellington St on-ramp meant drivers had the choice of four central city on-ramps.

The re-opening of the on-ramp will coincide with another change for traffic joining the motorway from Fanshawe St.  

From Monday, drivers using Beaumont St in Wynyard Quarter will be allowed to turn right in to Fanshawe St and access the motorway north through St Marys Bay. Access to Fanshawe St from Halsey St is not affected and remains the best access from Wynyard Quarter.

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