Traffic Jam

Article excerpt

THE PROJECT: Improve major transportation arteries in Auckland, New Zealand

ORGANIZATIONS: Transit New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand, and the Auckland City Council

START DATE: April 2006

END DATE: July 2008

COST: NZ$26 million

THE CHALLENGE: Looking to improve safety and traffic flow through a major Auckland thoroughfare, the city council launched Project Greenlane. Along with upgraded pedestrian walkways, bike lanes and landscaping, the initiative called for dividing a busy five-way intersection into four "T" intersections controlled by separate, but linked traffic lights. The team couldn't just stop traffic, though. So all the work had to be accomplished while managing heavy congestion.

THE OPEN ROAD: Project leaders made it a point to keep up communication with stakeholders about any potential disruptions and delays resulting from the rerouting of the estimated 65,000 vehicles that pass though the intersection every weekday. That effort included holding community get-togethers, working closely with the local media to provide updates on alternative routes, and meeting regularly with the businesses and residents affected by the project, says Tim Lott, group manager for transport infrastructure delivery, Auckland City Council.

EYES ON THE ROAD: The team developed extensive contingency plans aimed at both routine issues-securing backup resources in case equipment broke down, for example-as well as plans for extreme situations, such as a gas main explosion. …