4 Oct 2008

Traffic flows again over Auckland motorway

8:47 pm on 4 October 2008

A business group on Auckland's north shore wants to see a tunnel for both road and rail built as part of a second harbour crossing.

A truck carrying a digger hit an old overbridge on Friday blocking southbound lanes on the northern motorway for several hours.

North Shore's mayor Andrew Williams has called for an alternative crossing to be built - preferably a $1.5 billion underground rail tunnel.

But Gary Holmes from the Albany Business Association, says the idea of building a tunnel just for rail is misguided.

He says businesses rely on being able to move their goods and services via car, truck or other goods vehicles.

The overbridge was damaged beyond repair by the accident.

A section of damaged bridge was removed on Friday night, and the motorway reopened on Saturday morning.

The accident caused traffic chaos with the entire southbound lane closed and traffic diverted off the motorway at Northcote and back on at Onewa Road.

Mr Williams says the half-day gridlock cost the region millions of dollars.

He says the accident essentially cut off the Auckland Harbour Bridge and demonstrates the need for an alternative.