International journeys bring travellers back to Auckland Airport's roads

14 April 2021

Travellers returning to Auckland Airport, as quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel resumes, are being told to expect a new road system with important construction on the transport network continuing since borders closed in March 2020.

André Lovatt, General Manager Infrastructure, said the number of vehicles on the road for Monday’s first day of the trans-Tasman bubble is anticipated to be up 23% on the previous Monday (12 April).

“With more international travel, we know it’s going to be busier on the airport roads than it has been since the borders were closed. Weekday peak time for traffic is forecast to be at around 6pm, but overall traffic volumes will only be about 56% of pre-COVID-19 numbers.

“It’s not just about travellers returning but also airport workers. We want all travellers coming to the airport to be aware that they will encounter some new road layouts and construction works – that means they should plan ahead for their journey.”

Key points for drivers at Auckland Airport:

  • Carefully follow directions and signage – the road layout might have changed since you were last here
  • Check the traffic and plan your journey so you can allow plenty of time to get to the airport
  • Construction teams continue to work on the western side of George Bolt Memorial Drive. There are two lanes operating in each direction
  • Take particular care at the intersection of George Bolt Memorial Drive and Tom Pearce Drive where major work is ongoing. Ensure you’re in the correct lane if you’re making a turn
  • The airport’s major access from the south has undergone important changes during the past year with new lanes and shared paths introduced along State Highway 20B / Puhinui Road. New, reduced speed limits along this stretch of road were introduced last month.

“We’re grateful for the patience of travellers as we know that driving around construction sites can disrupt journeys,” said Mr Lovatt. “We’ve passed major milestones on this project, and we know regular travellers will appreciate the robust transport network and high-occupancy vehicle lanes we’re delivering.”

Mr Lovatt said construction teams had worked hard since the outbreak of COVID-19 to get ahead on critical transport projects as part of Auckland Airport’s $100 million upgrade to the roading network.

Key infrastructure progress:

  • New lanes, new surfaces and shared pathways on George Bolt Memorial Drive. Completed lane developments are scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2021
  • In January 2021, work resumed on a terminal exit road that will complete a one-way loop journey for travellers running past the international terminal’s pick-up/drop-off zone before reconnecting travellers to George Bolt Memorial Drive at a new signalised intersection
  • New gantries for wayfinding signage were installed on George Bolt Memorial Drive last year
  • When the terminal exit road is complete, work is planned to reverse the direction of traffic on Ray Emery Drive to feed into the loop

“To complete this work safely, we’re planning two weekends with road closures in both directions on George Bolt Memorial Drive in mid-2021,” said Mr Lovatt. “Detours will be in place, and we’re still finalising the exact timing, but we’ll be giving road users plenty of notice before that work takes place.”