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MYTH #9: It's not Auckland Council's problem

The NZTA has recently announced a $2million fund to Auckland Transport to investigate and redesign the intersection.

The Auckland Council and New Zealand Transport Agency are responsible for the State Highway 1 intersection with Hill Street, other connecting roads, and Resource Management Act planning.

The NZTA is a requiring authority under the Resource Management Act 1991 with the responsibility of managing the state highway network. Part of that responsibility is controlling what accesses the limited access roads known as state highways and advocating to ensure that planning decisions (such as zoning, district plans, and resource consents) by other authorities don't affect roads under their designations.

The NZTA throughout the country have a policy to reduce the number of accessways to state highways where possible. Their focus is the reduction of interference of local traffic with state highway through traffic. So far, their announcements and actions have reinforced this position. Please click here to download an NZTA summary of work to date.

Take for instance the Northern Tollway between Puhoi and the north of Warkworth. The goal of the tollway is an uninterrupted route for traffic past Warkworth. When a Warkworth local offered land for free to the NZTA so an on and off ramp could connect with the tollway, NZTA refused the offer. The reason for this decision is twofold:

  1. An on ramp and off ramp would allow local traffic to bypass Warkworth, causing disruption along a section of the tollway; and

  2. As a tollway, the addition of a connection would require the erection of an additional toll barrier.

Legislation requires that any tollway must have a state highway alternative route. This means that State Highway 1 through the current Warkworth route will remain State Highway 1 status and administered by the NZTA.

Hill Street, Sandspit Road, Elizabeth Street, Matakana Road, Kowhai Park, and MIllstream Place are local and arterial roads administered by Auckland Transport on behalf of Auckland Council.

The central problem with the intersection is the configuration of local roads with each other and the state highway. State Highway 1 traffic volumes to the north of the intersection is half the traffic volumes to the south. This means that local traffic is a significant proportion of intersection traffic and, as the diagrams below demonstrate, that proportion will increase.

Please click on the diagrams above to enlarge.

Auckland Transport announced safety improvements from the State Highway 1 into Elizabeth Street. The NZTA announced restrictions of state highway traffic turning right into Hill Street.

Both NZTA and AT are already working together on other Warkworth projects, such as the Western Collector and Matakana Link. There are even shared funding arrangements between the two organisations. The NZTA is also involved with the Auckland Unitary Plan.

Hill Street intersection is a regional hub linking state highway traffic with significant local traffic. It is the role of Auckland Council to ensure that local traffic is adequately addressed and provided for in any changes to the State Highway 1 intersection at Hill Street.

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