Manukau Courier : November 16th 2010
3 MANUKAU COURIER, NOVEMBER 16, 2010 NEWS 32C Lambie Drive, Manukau Ph: 09 263 6915 or 09 974 2581 Dual Sim Camera Phone Laptop and desktop Repair Specialist from $99 Desk top Computers with LCD ( Ex Leased ) Laptop ( Ex Leased ) Desktop PC ( Ex Lease WE BUY USED AND FAULTY LAPTOPS 188B Great South Road, Takanini/Papakura Ph 2986915 +gst from $169 +gst fro $95 +gst from69 t *Security Required Normal Lending Criteria Apply To nd out the options available to you call us today. SAVE TIME! GET YOUR MONEY FASTER! Contact our experienced and friendly team! See us for: PERSONAL LOANS MORTGAGES INSURANCES 0800889888/2638518 VISIT US AT 22 Cavendish Drive, Manukau City OR ONLINE AT www.SPLNZ.co.nz NEED MONEY NOW? SEE SOUTH PACIFIC LOANS FIRST 3036028AA Bridge closure causes havoc Closed: Bridge St in Papatoetoe is closed until the end of January while KiwiRail rebuilds it as part of the project to electrify Auckland's rail network. Photo: SHANE WENZLICK By KAREN MANGNALL TEMPERS are fraying after a week of traffic carnage'' caused when KiwiRail closed Papatoetoe's Bridge St overbridge for its electrification project. The closure has blocked Puhinui Rd to through-traffic from Wiri's commercial zone and to and from the airport. On top of reduced lanes at the St George St overbridge, the latest closure is causing gridlock with queues spilling into Otahuhu, Mangere and Wiri as drivers search for a way across the railway lines. Closing Bridge St has created an absolute shambles'', Papatoetoe Citizens Advice Bureau manager Noel Robinson says. There are jams all around. People are looking for alternatives but because of the layout, the fact is there are none.'' All roads in and out of Old Papatoetoe are congested, even around Middlemore Hospital. His volunteer staff are arriving considerably late'' and clients are missing appointments because of the traffic. Mr Robinson isn't impressed with KiwiRail's traffic management. I would have thought that the simplest thing would have been to do one bridge at a time.'' Resident Martyn Barrett says the overbridge works have cut off a whole section of Papatoetoe''. He's resorted to biking to and from work in central Manukau because all his driving routes are clogged''. The suggested alterna- tive of Cavendish Drive is imposs- ible because of the carnage'' caused by diversions around the Puhinui interchange. Mr Barrett's wife now takes an extra half hour to get home from work in Howick each day. Going via Cavendish Drive and Otahuhu takes far too long'' so she crawls over St George St. Pretty much every road coming into old Papatoetoe is just chocka now,'' Mr Barrett says. Drivers are losing patience, queu- ing across intersections, forgetting the road rules. It creates havoc.'' When St George St closes after Christmas, Mr Barrett says they'll have to park their car on the east- ern side of the overbridge and walk to and from it each day. He and his neighbours aren't impressed with KiwiRail's timing. It would have been good to have waited until the SH20 work had fin- ished because we wouldn't have had all that extra traffic coming through. And maybe doing one bridge at a time.'' Closing Bridge St has made walk- ing to and from school a lot riskier for pupils at nearby Papatoetoe South School who now have to go down to the Puhinui Rd footbridge. Two pupils just about got hit'' going home the day the overbridge closed because they crossed in the wrong place to get to the footbridge, deputy principal Jenny Kelly says. Traffic coming around Puhinui nearly knocked them over.'' There's an ever-present threat from traffic that finds Bridge St closed then does a u-turn right beside where pupils cross outside the school. Ms Kelly hopes the three-month closure of the overbridge will re- train airport and commercial traffic to use another route. Disruptive but manageable By KAREN MANGNALL KiwiRail always knew the first week of the Bridge St closure might be difficult'' as drivers adjusted, electrification project director Murray Hood says. The traffic management plan approved by the Manukau City Council and then Auckland Trans- port recognised there would be some congestion''. But because it is for a relat- ively short term it is considered to be manageable,'' he says. They have not signalled any significant concerns to us since the closure of Bridge St.'' Detour signs are being adjusted to improve traffic flows and drivers going east to west are encouraged to use Cavendish Drive. We are essentially caught between a rock and a hard place with this project,'' Mr Hood says. The overbridges need to be rebuilt this summer to meet the deadline for the electrification of Auckland's rail network by 2013. Shutting down the rail network for three weeks from Boxing Day will have the disruptive elements of the project completed'' by mid- January at St George St and the end of the month at Bridge St. However there is a certain amount of work that has to be completed before December 26 for us to meet that timeframe,'' Mr Hood says. That preparatory work couldn't be done in time if KiwiRail waited to close Bridge St until the Puhinui interchange opened just before Christmas. The St George St overbridge will be reopened to two lanes each way as early as possible'' in December to help traffic flows before Christmas.
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