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Ramp Signals Go West

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
nz transport agency.jpg
nz transport agency.jpg

The first two ramp signals on the Northwestern Motorway will be switched on soon, marking the first step west in the roll out of NZ Transport Agency's comprehensive traffic management system for Auckland.

The ramp signals on the St Lukes Road westbound and Newton Road westbound on-ramps will go live on Monday 22 September. These will be followed by signals on the Great North Road (Waterview) and Patiki Road westbound on-ramps.

Ramp signals - traffic lights at on-ramps that manage the rate at which vehicles move down the ramp and onto the motorway - help improve traffic flows and safety on the motorway, while enabling more consistent speeds, safer merging and more predictable travel times. The signals operate only when needed during the morning and afternoon peaks and through other busy periods. At all other times they remain off.

NZ Transport Agency acting regional manager Tommy Parker explains that the commissioning of the signals at Newton and St Lukes is aimed at improving traffic flows on the Northwestern Motorway and particularly in the heavily trafficked area between Newton and Avondale.

"These improvements, together with the additional capacity, will help to provide more consistent travel times for motorists," he says.

Operators have a range of cameras giving a real time view of traffic operations throughout the area. At the same time, the NZTA is working closely with Auckland and Waitakere City Councils to manage and assist traffic flows on the local approaches to the on-ramps.

The installation follows successful operations on each of the southbound on-ramps on the Southern Motorway last year, as well as the northbound on-ramps from Mt Wellington to Gillies Avenue. The operation of these ramp signals has seen a 15% improvement in travel speeds and a 5-15% increase in throughput of vehicles.

A further six on-ramp sites between Patiki Road and Royal Road on the Northwestern Motorway will be completed and commissioned over the next few months. The ramp signals will improve a number of capacity and safety issues on the Northwestern Motorway and are also being co-ordinated with Waitakere City's planned improvements to Lincoln Road and Te Atatu. The project includes installing truck, bus and car-pool lanes on the citybound on-ramps at Lincoln Road, Te Atatu Road (Peninsula) and Great North Road as well as upgrading a number of corresponding off-ramps.

NZTA's current project - working collaboratively with Auckland's local and regional councils and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority - will see the installation of 61 ramp signals on the Southern, Northern and Northwestern motorways as part of a comprehensive motorway management system being completed by 2009.

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