Report Into Quay St Disruption


Auckland Transport has considered a report into the disruptive Quay St waterfront work which is still going on although now in the final stages, with the traffic islands being replaced in a few weeks.

Motorists have been angry about the months of disruption in the major arterial route.

Auckland Council transport chair and Auckland Transport board member Mike Lee complained recently about the months taken to do the work and said: ““It is ironic given the huge social and economic costs of road building these days that we in Auckland are so very permissive in allowing our existing arterial roads to be so blocked off for lengthy periods of time on a regular and recurring basis.”

But the Auckland Transport report doesn’t deal out any criticism.

It lists 3 “learnings:”

  • When large renewal works are required on the network,  a global network approach should be taken.  This needs to include utilities, private developers and Transport’s safety and strategic needs.  From this cooperative approach, direct and indirect benefits can be achieved.
  • Stakeholder Management  must be delivered to a higher standard so that public perception of AC and AT is protected.
  • To achieve multi outcome projects similar to Quay Street, considerable planning and willingness by all parties is required in the initial stages.

The report defends Auckland Transport’s approach - AT inherited the work from the old city council.

“The Quay Street road pavement was in dire need of replacement; other projects in the lower CBD meant that this work was deferred by six years. As a result the road had become peppered with temporary pothole repairs and was becoming a risk to traffic.

Auckland  Transport inherited this project and was aware of the likely disruption of completing works in this section of the network.

To reduce disruption, AT approached this project with the wider needs of the network in mind.  As a result, a partnership between Vector and AT was  formed in which the power supply and road  would be upgraded  in a single coordinated project.

This gave AT significant benefits: reduced delivery costs, reduced utility damage to the new road and an overall reduction in traffic disruption by 6 – 8 weeks.  The sequencing and traffic management were peer reviewed prior to work commencing.

Traffic data indicates that of the 25,000 vehicles per day normally using Quay St, approximately 5,000 (20%) diverted to use Custom St during the project.  This a substantial increase in traffic on the diversion route.”

This was the increase in traffic during February:
And the principal project manager concludes in his report that it all went well.

“The project has been delivered to a high quality in terms of engineering standards, temporary traffic management, stakeholder liaison, internal and external communications. Some valuable lessons have been learnt from delivery of this joint project. However, this aspect needs to be  balanced with the 6-8 week reduction   in road network disruption which would otherwise have occurred if the  various project components.”

I doubt that is going to make grimacing motorists and bus drivers any happier.




  1. Matt L says:

    What I don’t understand is why they still let heavy trucks heading to and from the port use that route. They were provided with an alternative route to the motorway via Grafton Gulley yet they still trundled through town likely causing most of the surface damage. Even during the works there were often port trucks sitting in traffic along the route. If we ever want a more pleasant waterfront these trucks need to be moved out of the city centre.

  2. Wally thomas says:

    “inquest”… steady on. Auckland Transport prepared a report on the project, given it’s size and complexity which was discussed at the board meeting yesterday. That report is the basis of your report here. Inquests are held when people die - not when one of the busiest roads in Auckland is upgraded…hard to please 25,000 motorists per day. But we did try and minimize the impact.

  3. Andy says:

    This should have been 14/16 hr a day, 7 days a week work until completed.

  4. Sam says:

    True, Andy. Urgency was definitely not an apparent characteristic of this project.
    Undertaking disruptive and unsightly roadworks in the most tourist-oriented part of town, at the height of cruise ship season, was just silly. Auckland needs to get serious about becoming a great tourist destination; we need the revenue.

  5. Pippa says:

    And today the traffic was probably the worst it has been. Very ironic considering the sign on Quay St east bound said words to the effect “we have finished, thank you for your patience”. It clearly wasn’t finished - road work still going on with the traffic islands and down to one lane by Countdown. Not good enough….


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