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SH20A to Airport

This two year project will be delivered by the Manukau Harbour Kirkbride Alliance Project team.

Project Overview

SH20A is a strategically important road in the Auckland region forming the primary route to Auckland Airport and a link between the Western Ring Route, the Airport business district and the greater Auckland area as well as a crucial connection to the regional ports and industrial areas. Once completed the upgrades will relieve current traffic pressure, offer improved journey reliability and provide safety route to and from New Zealand’s busiest airport.  

Transport Minister Simon Bridges turned the first sod for the project on the 20 February and the physical works have been underway since March. These works will involve most of the Auckland delivery teams over the next two years including construction of 34,000 tonne of asphalt pavement.

NZ Transport Agency Auckland and North Highway Manager Brett Gliddon says “working with Auckland Transport, the Transport Agency had been able to future-proof the route by accommodating in the design provision for bus shoulders and/or rail if required in the future. While future travel options to and from the airport are still being investigated, it makes sense that our design for the new Kirkbride interchange provides for a multi-modal approach as we look to meet the projected growth of 14 million to 40 million passengers through Auckland Airport during the next 30 years.”

The Alliance is the same high performing team that delivered the SH20 Manukau Harbour Crossing Project in 2010.

NZTA SH20A Airport section link

Higgins Role:

Higgins is responsible for delivering around 26% of the Project scope and have a team of six engineering staff embedded in the Project team working on planning and programming the work. The team will provide specialist technical and contractor input, construct the pavement and surfacing and undertake all traffic management. A key component of the traffic management plan is the simultaneous construction of the trench and bridge alongside the watermain. Both projects will be completed at the same time to keep disruption to traffic flow to an absolute minimum.


The major improvements include:

  • Upgrading SH20A from expressway to motorway standard.
  • Constructing a trench underneath Kirkbridge Road for SH20A traffic and water main across SH20A.
  • Provision for future bus shoulder lanes
  • Cycleway relocation to local roads
  • Improved stormwater drainage and treatment
  • Highway beautification