Transport Minister Simon Bridges says the first stage of the East West Connections project is already improving travel times and providing early benefits for motorists around the Onehunga area.

Mr Bridges marked the completion of work to widen the Southwestern Motorway (State Highway 20) to four lanes in both directions between Neilson Street and Queenstown Road, to provide extra capacity for the growing number of vehicles.

“This early package of $15 million worth of improvements is already helping to reduce congestion and increase capacity for both local road users and freight along Neilson Street and on the approaches to State Highway 20 and State Highway 1,” Mr Bridges says.

“The East West Connections is one of the Government’s top transport priorities in Auckland to improve access and travel times for businesses, freight operators and customers moving in and out of this key industrial hub.

“Motorists travelling between Alfred Street to Onehunga Mall, along Neilson Street are saving up to two and a half minutes during the morning peak travel time.

“There are also 800 more trucks using Neilson Street each day since last year, allowing truck drivers access to State Highway 20 on-ramp faster than they could before.

“This shows that even before the main East West Connections project has started it’s already reducing the cost of doing business in Auckland by improving the critical link to key industrial and manufacturing areas.”

The joint project, funded by Auckland Transport and the Government through the NZ Transport Agency has also demolished the Neilson Street rail bridge and built a new lower road to make it easier for freight and heavy vehicles which previously struggled uphill.

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