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$2 million for 'nightmare' intersection

Planning for a fix to north Auckland's problem plagued Hill St intersection has been brought forward, the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport have announced.

They are throwing $2 million into the blocked up artery at Warkworth to investigate design changes to the intersection.

Designs put on the table by fed-up Warkworth residents, and some by Auckland Transport, will form the list of options to be considered by the project team.

But it is still thought much of the problem will be solved by the northern motorway extension.

"When the new motorway is finished in 2021, along with other upgrades such as the Matakana Link Road and Western Collector, much of the current traffic will be able to bypass Warkworth, easing a significant amount of the existing pressure on Hill Street," Ernst Zollner the Transport Agency's Auckland Relationship Director said.

The Transport Agency said it's continuing to work with Auckland Transport to investigate and deliver short term solutions to improve the capacity and efficiency of the intersection during peak periods.

Auckland Transport's Delivery Manager, North and West, David Nelson said with the funding a full investigation for re-designing the intersection can be done.

"We'll also look at any land acquisition and regulatory requirements needed before we can physically start the work," Nelson said.

The Fix Hill Street Now Action Group said it wanted to see the intersection take more priority than just planning.

The New Zealand Transport Agency stopped a major upgrade of the intersection in 2009, when the intersection handled 32,550 vehicles.

It now handles 35,900 vehicles, and by the time the motorway is complete it will be 42,350 vehicles a day, the group said.

"We will get in behind the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport to push through the design phase as quickly as possible. We may yet see one of their designs minimise disruption, eliminating the need to wait on other projects."

The group want a plan that minimises disruption, "with continuous growth pressures they will need to push everything forward".

Fix Hill Street Now also believed the developers of the 2300 houses along the Matakana Link and Western Collector routes may also push for the roads to be completed sooner, including a Hill Street intersection upgrade.

"The New Zealand Transport Agency are becoming more dynamic to growth in our area and we look forward to seeing their plans over the coming months," the group said.

Fix Hill Street Now Action Group member and former infrastructure analyst Grant McLachlan's "pill" shaped roundabout that he believes will resolve the Hill Street issues.

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