24 July 2021
Fast, convenient public transport connections will be welcomed by travellers and airport workers alike with the opening of the Puhinui Station today, according to Auckland Airport General Manager Infrastructure André Lovatt.
Mr Lovatt said the completion of the station, delivered by Auckland Transport, will provide an improved public transport experience by leveraging existing rail services connecting into electric buses running a dedicated route to the airport precinct.
“If you’re in the city, you can now catch a train at Britomart and around 45 minutes later be dropped off by bus right outside the terminal for little more than the cost of a coffee. That’s a real game-changer for passengers wanting to use public transport,” Mr Lovatt said.
“And for our precinct workers, many of whom live in the communities around the airport, the station brings a step up in public transport connectivity.”
The $69 million development of the Puhinui Station connects into an upgraded SH20B, delivered in partnership with Waka Kotahi, Auckland Transport, and mana whenua Te Ākitai Waiohua. Auckland Airport is contributing $32 million towards the improvements along SH20B, which added high-occupancy vehicle lanes, cycling and walking paths, as well as road safety improvements to the important airport connection.
“While COVID-19 has reduced passenger numbers and therefore traffic volumes on roads to and from the airport, we take a long-term view and have continued supporting transport infrastructure projects like the Puhinui Station and the improvements to SH20B. It means that as passenger numbers begin to build the infrastructure is in place to manage the growth.
“Travellers are also just part of the picture. The wider precinct is home to some of New Zealand’s biggest and busiest companies, working around the clock. They need efficient transport networks to operate at their best.
“Auckland Airport itself has also remained committed to upgrading the roading network in and around the precinct, spending around $160 million on ensuring it’s ready for the return of increased traveller numbers and the associated workforce growth,” Mr Lovatt said.
A key development is the Northern Network Transport Project, which is widening George Bolt Memorial Drive to add high occupancy lanes and create a new one-way loop road from the international terminal.
“Anyone who is a regular driver between the city and the airport will have noticed the progress we’ve made along George Bolt Memorial Drive. There are some more big changes coming over the next month or so, and we’re aiming to fast-track construction by fully closing George Bolt Memorial Drive on two separate weekends. This allows the construction team to get through about eight weeks’ worth of nightworks in one hit.”
The first “super weekend” road closure is next weekend – from 9pm Friday 30 July until 5am Monday 2 August – with detours in place for drivers going to and from the terminal and shopping centre, and safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists.
“While we’re completing such major works on our road, we ask that everyone takes care and doesn’t rush their journey through the precinct roads. It’s really important everybody safely reaches their destination, whether it’s catching a flight or returning home, and that includes the construction team working on the road.”