Wednesday, April 24, 2024

MP aims to find solutions for traffic gridlock due to road closure

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Pakuranga MP and Transport Minister Simeon Brown, right, at the recent reopening of William Roberts Road. File photo supplied

Pakuranga MP and Transport Minister Simeon Brown is working at pace to find a solution for traffic gridlock in his local community stemming from the closure of a road as part of the Eastern Busway public transport project.

As the Times has reported, construction of a key part of the busway that’s intended to improve traffic flow appears to be causing major headaches for local motorists.

The four-lane Reeves Road Flyover will see the road partially closed for the next two years while the flyover is built.

Auckland Transport (AT) says the work follows the recent reopening of William Roberts Road, which has now been extended to connect with Ti Rakau Drive, providing a new transport link in Pakuranga.

“Motorists can use the new William Roberts Road connection, Gossamer Drive or Pakuranga Road as alternative routes, while Reeves Road is closed for the flyover’s construction.”

Murray Burt, AT’s director infrastructure and place, says the flyover is planned to open in 2026 and will provide a direct connection between Pakuranga Road and the South Eastern Highway.

“This will improve the flow of traffic and reduce congestion around Pakuranga Plaza, playing a crucial role in the Eastern Busway’s success as the next stages are completed along Ti Rakau Drive toward Botany.”

Brown posted on Facebook on March 18 about Reeves Road’s closure.

“This will mean changes to your travel if you use Reeves Road to get onto the Waipuna Bridge,” he said.

“Please use Gossamer Drive or Pakuranga Road instead. I will be closely monitoring traffic congestion and encouraging Auckland Transport to make changes where needed.”

Numerous people commented on his post saying the traffic around Pakuranga was bad to begin with and has worsened since the partial closure of Reeves Road.

The sentiment is summed up by one person’s comment, which says: “Great work NZTA and AT keep it up. Let’s get Auckland moving. Glad I am in Christchurch now.”

Numerous commuters have also taken to social media to vent about the worsening traffic situation.

A photo posted to a community Facebook page at about 8am on March 19 shows traffic heading along Ti Rakau Drive from Botany to Pakuranga backed up to Huntington Drive with every vehicle in front at a standstill.

One person commented on the post it took them 40 minutes to get from Aviemore Drive, in Highland Park, to Botany, a length of time they described as “insane”.

On March 20, Brown posted on Facebook again to say his local electorate office is working with AT on the “urgent need to get traffic moving on Pakuranga Road following the partial closure of Reeves Road”.

His office has asked AT to have two left-hand lanes from Pakuranga Road onto Ti Rakau Drive and the agency is urgently looking into numerous other possible changes, he says.

They include implementing a free left turn from Pakuranga Road into Ti Rakau Drive, removing the pedestrian crossing across Ti Rakau Drive at the Aylesbury Street intersection, relocating a new pedestrian crossing at Aylesbury Street, creating more vehicle queuing space on Ti Rakau Drive, and reviewing traffic light phases between Pakuranga Road and Ti Rakau Drive and the South Eastern Highway.

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