New Gateway to Auckland Airport Opening Soon
Aug 24, 2017
With Auckland preparing for the influx of travellers expected over the next 30 years, the main route to and from its airport has undergone significant construction.
The SH20A to Airport Alliance has spent the past three years building a ‘trench’ which will carry airport and city bound traffic underneath the main local road. The Alliance, made up of the New Zealand Transport Agency, Beca, Fletcher and Higgins, began work on the Kirkbride Interchange in 2015.
With the trench due to open to traffic on 29 August 2017, the New Zealand Transport Agency hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the occasion. Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Bill English made the first cut in the ribbon, symbolising the opening of the trench. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Transport Minister, Simon Bridges and Auckland City Deputy Mayor, Bill Cashmore.
Alliance Project Manager Mike Wall said, “The event was an excellent opportunity for the Alliance team to see all their hard work come to fruition. It was reassuring to hear the Prime Minister talk about the strong future pipeline of work for construction”.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was the second of three events to recognise the Alliance’s hard work. Before dawn, tangata whenua gathered with a number of Alliance staff to bless the trench and the spectacular artwork at either end of the Kirkbride underpass.
The artwork, designed by local iwi artists, is part of the ‘gateway’ experience to welcome travellers to Auckland. The artwork symbolises the emergence from dark to light and is illuminated in blue to represent the ocean. The underpass represents the entry/exit of a marae or meeting house, and at each end of it is a Koruru (owl) watching over those who pass through.