The next evolution of roads is coming
As with many things we use in our lives, roads are beoming smarter. NZTA is currently working on a modern traffic management project in Wellington that will see the construction of New Zealand’s first smart motorway.
What are the project’s main objectives?
The project is all part of the NZ Transport Agency’s upgrade of the Ngauranga Gorge to Aotea Quay section of Wellington’s urban motorway. It aims to reduce congestion, make journey times more reliable, and improve safety on this section of road.
What has been the issue?
Ngauranga Gorge to Aotea Quay is the busiest road in the Wellington region carrying over 90,000 vehicles per day. Before the project began, the average afternoon peak travel times were 59% longer than during nonpeak times. Average travel time increased by over two minutes during the peak, from 3 minutes 35 seconds to 5 minutes 43 seconds between SH1 Hobson Street and Ngauranga Gorge. Travel time reliability was 56%. This means that only about half the time can drivers rely on how long their trip will take them.
What will the changes be?
The two key changes will be:
- introducing the ‘smart motorway’ system which involves enhancing the ATMS (advanced traffic management system).
- adding another northbound lane between the Aotea Quay on-ramp and the Ngauranga Gorge / State Highway 2 intersection
- replacing the median barrier
- widening the State Highway 2 off-ramp at Ngauranga
- lengthening the existing sign gantries and adding a number of new ones
- building a new southbound on-ramp for emergency services at Ngauranga.
Four-laning State Highway 1 southbound from the Ngauranga Gorge / State Highway 2 intersection to the Aotea Quay off-ramp is also planned but not yet programmed.