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A new interchange and trench on State Highway 20A will make journeys between Auckland Airport and the city safer and more reliable, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

The Prime Minister and Minister of Transport officially opened the $160 million Kirkbride Trench this morning. The project is part of the Government’s Auckland Accelerated Programme to bring forward key Auckland transport projects.

“The new interchange and trench now provides a motorway standard through this busy intersection, which will reduce congestion and improve traffic flows on both the highway and local roads,” Mr Bridges says.

“State Highway 20A is the primary route to Auckland Airport and connects with the Western Ring Route, one of the Government’s seven Roads of National Significance.

“The completion of this project supports future population and business growth, caters for increasing travellers and improves the efficiency of freight around New Zealand’s largest city.

“As well as the economic benefits, these improvements will also have a measurable impact on the local community, which had previously been divided by the state highway. The design of the Kirkbride Road bridge will allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross the highway safely, reconnecting this community,” Mr Bridges says.

New signalised intersections at Richard Pearce Drive and Westney Road will make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the very busy route.

The project is also creating a 3km separated, shared path as well as local cycling and pedestrian connections to improve safety for cyclists.

The Kirkbride Trench is expected to open to traffic later this month, with the full State Highway 20A to Airport project on track to be complete by mid-2018.

“This is one of the many projects across Auckland the Government is delivering to provide Auckland with a safer and more reliable transport network,” Mr Bridges says.

“This latest additional to Auckland’s network builds on the reliability now being delivered by the Waterview Tunnels when travelling to and from Auckland Airport.”

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