26 Oct 2020

Project forces main road to Auckland Airport to temporarily shut

7:27 am on 26 October 2020

The main road to Auckland Airport will be shut for five consecutive nights this week, from Tuesday to Sunday.

Auckland Airport is undertaking work to upgrade George Bolt Memorial Drive.

Auckland Airport is undertaking work to upgrade George Bolt Memorial Drive. Photo: Supplied / Auckland Airport

An overhead gantry, sometimes referred to as the Pirate Mast, is being removed.

Three new gantrys will be installed as part of a major project, called Northern Network, to widen George Bolt Memorial Drive.

The upgrade would allow for high occupancy vehicle lanes, with shared pedestrian and cycle paths alongside.

During the closures, drivers can still take an alternative route to the airport.

Auckland Airport infrastructure manager André Lovatt said fewer air travellers were using the roads, so it should create less inconvenience than it otherwise would.

"By widening the road, we're increasing its capacity and supporting public-transport options," Lovatt said.

"We're also taking the opportunity to carry out these works now to minimise disruption to road users while there are fewer vehicles on the road."

Lovatt said a review was undertook on the project, alongside the company's other development priorities, after the pandemic struck.

"We are operating in a period of significantly reduced passenger numbers, but we remain confident about our future and we need to ensure our roading network is ready for the return of international air travel.

"Given the uncertainty around the timing of aviation's recovery, we have reworked the project so we can deliver it in a sustainable way, focusing on what's most important now and completing the remainder of the project in stages.".

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