Newly installed lights are back on
After about 46 hours of being operational a fault has developed in the traffic lights at the intersection Te Atatu and Edmonton Rd.
The lights were out for three hours during peak hour traffic, and nobody was home to manage the motorists.
Auckland Transport's media relations manager Mark Hannan said on June 14 the outage lasted about three hours and the lights came back on "just after 11am".
No-one could be seen managing the traffic in the absence of operational traffic signals.
Two workers were seen inspecting a box located next to a signal on Te Atatu Rd.
Traffic queues of motorists heading towards the North Western motorway could be seen backed up along Te Atatu Rd this morning.
A roundabout at the intersection was replaced by traffic signals that went live on June 12 at around 10.30am.
Auckland Transport's (AT) spokesman Dai Bindoff said the lights went out at about 8.30am on June 14.
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Bindoff had earlier said the traffic signals were out possibly because of a planned power outage that AT and the Joint Auckland Traffic Operations Centre (JTOC) had not been informed about.
But he later clarified the lights were out because of a fault.
The project had been widely panned by local residents, with Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford now calling for an independent investigation into its length, and purpose.
Bindoff said once a signal goes live, the responsibility of managing it was "immediately transferred" to JTOC, which was managed by NZ Transport Agency and AT.
"Neither AT nor Higgins are involved in the incident or its repair," he said.
He said JTOC's procedure was to reset the system to clear the fault and if that failed they dispatched a technician to identify the problem, if necessary police would be called in to provide traffic control.
He said he understood the police had been advised of the situation.
In the absence of a roundabout and traffic lights the right hand rule immediately applied, Bindoff said.
Hannan said motorists remembered to use the rule during the outage.
"AT's staff monitored the intersection on CCTV during the outage and motorists behaved just as they had prior to the lights being installed. There was no real effect on traffic flow and no need for on-ground traffic control as the intersection with Edmonton Rd was operating safely," he said.
Bindoff said poles and lights were installed by Traffic Systems Limited, a specialist contractor hired by Higgins — AT's lead contractor for the Te Atatu Rd and Edmonton Rd corridor upgrade project.
The project began in August 2015 and was expected to end by mid-2017.
The $30 million project involved upgrading a 1.4 kilometre stretch of one of west Auckland's busiest roads.
AT said the road was used by 35,000 vehicles per day.
The project included road widening, replacing a roundabout with lights, cycleways in both directions, green-painted sections at the lights for buses and bus priority lights at intersections.
The council-controlled organisation had faced criticism for slow progress, poor communication and shoddy workmanship on the project.
On May 31, AT contractors accidentally hit a telecommunications cable that left 200 homes and businesses in Te Atatu without phone and internet for days.
About $17m of the project's budget was for construction.