New Zealand’s Auckland Airport has commenced work on its southern gateway, marking the start of its infrastructure projects for the year.

The multi-million-dollar Laurence Stevens Drive project is expected to boost transport links at the airport’s south side. It will provide a stable network inside the precinct, as well as connections to major public transport projects.

The work includes road widening and the addition of an inbound high-occupancy vehicle lane.

It will also involve upgrades to pedestrian paths and bus stops, as well as the addition of two further bus stops.

Work on Laurence Stevens Drive is being carried out by contractor Fulton Hogan.

Auckland Airport development and delivery general manager André Lovatt said: “As we deliver on these projects, we’re boosting accessibility for important public transport links.

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“The Laurence Stevens Drive redevelopment is a cornerstone project on our path to improving access for public transport from the Puhinui Interchange and easing traffic flow on the southern corridor to the airport. Ultimately, there will be more options for travellers to get to and from the airport.

“We’re working with our partners to ensure better journeys for all travellers, whether they’re flying out from the airport or driving here for work.”

Lovatt added that Auckland Airport has around 200 projects lined up. The Northern Network Transport Project construction started six months ago and changes to the George Bolt Memorial Drive are visible to the public.

The project is around 23% complete and has removed 28,000m² of topsoil and laid 1km of stormwater pipes.

The projects are expected to help the airport accommodate its rising passenger numbers, which are expected to double to 40 million annual passengers by 2044.

Last week, Auckland Airport launched a review regarding the recent runway closures at the airport.