I am working on updating our Auckland CBD map which is going to go on the back of our NZ Aotearoa map, along with WTG, CHCH, DUN, and the tourist towns of ROT and QTN. The spaghetti junction (Central Motorway Junction or CMJ) is a nightmare, and I am spending a lot of time and effort trying to show it in a clear and easy-to-read manner.
This got me thinking about the history of the junction and what it was like before this monster was built. I used to have an apartment on Upper Queen Street, near a section of the motorway, and I remember the foyer was full of images showing how the land looked before construction of the motorway, and there were many artifacts that were dug up on display such as old glass bottles etc. Large chunks of several suburbs were ripped up, and the motorway has slowly carved off sections of the Symonds St cemetery, which my apartment used to back onto.
The CMJ is the meeting place of 3 major roads north, south and west of Auckland, and also feeds the city and port with over 50,000 motorists and trucks per day from all those directions.
The design of the CMJ started in the 50’s, and over 50 years and many, many politicians later; the construction of this monster is almost complete. Construction started in the 70’s and in 1989 more links were added, the last being the connection between the western and southern routes.
Recently the connection between the northern and western routes opened, and I understand the western to northern route is to open soon. The northerners can now also drive directly to the port or to Waitakere without having to leave the motorway.