Karangahape Road enhancements Karangahape Road enhancements

Karangahape Road (K Road) is a joint project with Auckland Council that aims to preserve the road's unique character, while creating a street environment that supports the local community and meets the needs of a growing population.

Project status: Construction.
Project zone: Central.

Project overview

Karangahape Road is a colourful hub and popular destination, with a flourishing residential and business community. As one of the busiest roads in the region, thousands of people travel along it daily. This growth is set to continue with a 30-year projection of a million more people calling Auckland home.

Our transport choices are also growing.

More people are opting to walk, cycle, scoot, skate, bus and when the City Rail Link comes online in 2024, the rail network will double in capacity to carry up to 54,000 passengers an hour.

Once the City Link’s Karangahape Station opens with entrances on Mercury Lane and Beresford Square there will be a massive influx of people arriving and departing from Karangahape Road. A single Alliance is delivering the main CRL works - the stations and tunnels. Find out about the construction updates and background information for the City Rail Link work in the area.

Greater transport choices are being supported by a growing network of cycle ways, improved public transport, better pedestrian connections and street environments that create a sense of community and connection – destinations rather than thoroughfares.

We want to make Karangahape Road a more attractive place for businesses, shopping, residents, visitors, and its other users while also making sure it is ready for the changes ahead.

Karangahape Road Enhancement project construction time-lapse video

You can watch Karangahape Road Enhancement project construction work, which is now complete, in this time-lapse video.

An enhanced street environment

The changes will enhance an already vibrant and dynamic street life to create an accessible, people friendly public spaces. This will be done by:

  • decluttering footpaths creating more space for people
  • adding a cycleway in each direction connecting to existing and planned cycleways
  • adding more bike parking, lighting and street furniture
  • adding peak hour bus lanes to improve the reliability and predictably of bus services
  • enhancing the natural environment with rain gardens, landscaping, vegetation and trees
  • creating more opportunities for outdoor dining and street activities
  • creating an environment that reflects Maori cultural values.

Project details

The project is divided in to five sections.

A map of the sections of the project

Download the full Karangahape enhancements maps (14MB, 9 pages).

Download cross section maps (PDF 1MB).

Download the Karangahape Road - Detailed Design for Tender (PDF 8.54MB, 50 pages).

Download the Karangahape Road enhancements project brochure (PDF 2.3MB)

Section 1: Ponsonby Road to Pitt Street (excluding K Road bridge)

  • A greener environment with less footpath clutter providing more room for pedestrians, outdoor dining and street activities.
  • A separated cycleway.
  • Kerbside parking will convert to bus lanes during peak hours.

Edinburgh Street looking towards Ponsonby Road
Edinburgh Street looking towards Ponsonby Road.

Section 1A: Karangahape Road bridge

  • An attractive, safer and more spacious environment for pedestrians and people on bikes.
  • Removal of a traffic lane in each direction and re-positioned shelters will create space for a cycleway and a wider footpath.
  • Paua shells are the inspiration for the bus shelters on the bridge.
  • The existing tall screen panels attached to the bridge will be cut down to maximise the views out to the Waitemata Harbour and Maungawhau.
  • A pattern or weave is to be integrated into the trimmed down panels.

Karangahape Road bridge looking towards Pitt Street
Karangahape Road bridge looking towards Pitt Street.

Section 2: Pitt Street to Queen Street

This section will have similar features to section 1 Ponsonby Road to Pitt Street, and could be upgraded in the future. The City Rail Link and proposed Light Rail will greatly increase pedestrian movement through this section.

Looking towards Pitt Street, St Kevins Arcade on right side of street.
Looking towards Pitt Street, St Kevins Arcade on right side of street.

Section 3: Queen Street to Symonds Street

On the Symonds Street cemetery side, a short section of the cycleway (85 metres) will be defined as an area for people on bikes. On the approach to Upper Queen Street the cycleway will be separated. A separated cycleway will be on the other side of the road.

The width of the footpaths, cycleway in this section is to retain the existing traffic lanes, preserve the protected heritage wall of the Jewish Cemetery, and street trees on the north side.

Section 4: Upper Queen Street 

  • A separated cycleway connecting to the network of existing and planned cycleways providing access to the city centre and the wider Auckland area.
  • The cycleway is designed for flexibility, in the event of Light Rail construction.


To accommodate the bus lanes, wider footpaths and cycleways:

  • 27 of the 501 car parks within the Karangahape Road precinct (Karangahape Road and side streets) including loading, mobility and taxies will be removed.
  • Bus lanes between Ponsonby Road and Pitt Street and a clearway between Pitt Street and Symonds Street will operate in ‘peak hours’, city bound between 7am to 10am in the morning and outbound 4pm to 7pm in the evening, Monday to Saturday.
  • Outside of these hours and on weekends, visitors can park on Karangahape Road.
Number of on-street car parks currently Number of on-street car parks post-project
Off-peak hours 501 483
Peak hours 485 416

The loss of peak hour parking will be offset by:

  • converting timed and unrestricted parking into paid parking
  • more off-peak loading zones on Karangahape Road. Loading zones become taxi stands after 9pm
  • expansion of paid parking to operate in two zones:
    • Karangahape Road and top of side streets, 8am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday
    • remainder of side streets 8am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday
  • replacing eight small passenger service vehicles for parking and mobility spaces
  • adding 3 more off-peak mobility spaces
  • adding 17 extra car parks on Karangahape Road and down side streets
  • adding extra motorcycle parking.

Karangahape Road bus lanes

There are 63 buses travelling between Ponsonby Road and Queen Street every hour during peak times.

  • City bound (northern side) 7am to 10am.
  • Outbound (southern side) 4pm to 7pm.

Buses will have a dedicated bus lane during peak commuting hours in both directions along Karangahape Road.

The bus lane operation will commence at the completion of the project once the bus lane markings have been installed, the lanes will be enforced by camera operation

During these times on street parking including loading zones, small passenger service vehicle (taxi stands) operation mobility will not be available.

Karangahape Road’s bus lane operation is similar to other bus lanes across Auckland.

Creating a green corridor

Additional trees, vegetation and rain gardens will bring shade, shelter and a natural stormwater filtration system to the catchment area.

During construction, 11 Nīkau will be moved by a team of tree removal experts to a temporary home where they will be looked after until they can be replanted back on Karangahape Road.

The planting plan requires the removal of nine trees but introduces 33 new trees, bringing a green total of 85 trees, 18 rain gardens for stormwater treatment and 20 garden beds with tree pits on both sides of the road from Gundry Street to Queen Street.

The raingarden beds will be planted in the cycleway separator and at the top of side roads.
Most trees on Karangahape Road will remain in their current location, including the liquidamber, London plane trees, and Nikau - except for the 11 to be transplanted.

Tree species have been selected to tie in with the character and heritage of Karangahape Road. They must also be compatible with the road and easily maintained as this is a key public transport route, that caters for double-decker buses.

The height of Nīkau trees makes them well suited, and mature trees will be planted along with 12 Pōhutukawa mistral with two London plane trees at the top of Howe Street.

Landscaping and vegetation plans

What happens to the removed trees

The magnolias will be mulched. The timber from the Titoki will be offered to mana whenua in the first instance before being offered to a community group.

New trees being planted

33 new trees will be planted bringing the total to 85 – this is 24 more than currently in place.

  • 19 Nīkau;
  • 12 Pohutukawa Mistral;
  • 2 London plane.

The reasons these species were selected were:

  • Nīkau work well with the double decker buses;
  • Pohutukawa mistral provide good canopy cover and contribute to the biodiversity of the road;
  • London plane trees tie in with the existing trees on Howe Street.

Where the trees will be planted

  • 41 trees including Nīkau, Liquidambar and London Planes will remain in their current position;
  • 11 Nīkau will be transplanted within the project.

While construction is underway the 11 Nīkau being transplanted will be taken to a nursery for specialist care and, upon completion of the new garden beds will be replanted.

The tree relocations are necessary to accommodate the cycleway alignment and wider footpaths. The garden beds will be located within the cycleway separator and at the top of side roads.

The trees will be moved progressively to tie in with the construction and traffic management schedule.

Why are exotic trees being planted

Most plants will be native except:

  • The two London plane trees at the top of Howe Street will tie into the existing character of the street. This species is also very adaptable to an urban environment and is resistant to pollution.
  • The 30 liquid-amber are existing trees and have been a part of the Karangahape Road landscape for many years.

There will be 18 raingardens for stormwater treatment and 20 garden beds/tree pits from Gundry Street to Queen Street.

The landscape plan is compatible with the character and heritage values of Karangahape Road, contribute to the biodiversity.

Download the Karangahape Road precinct tree setout (PDF 5.1MB) to find out where the locations the trees will be planted or removed from.


What to expect

Construction started on the opposite ends of Karangahape Road mid-2019. Work is progressing in sections on both sides of the road, with multiple sites worked on at any given time. Completion is expected by mid-May 2021.

There will be a reduction in traffic lanes around the work sites so please expect delays when travelling along Karangahape Road or consider an alternative route.

There may be changes to some bus services, times and bus stop locations Please check our Roadworks affecting public transport page.

Construction detail:

  • Demolition kerb removal and trenching.
  • Relocation and renewal public infrastructure.
  • Relocation and reconnection public and private of utility services – power, water, communications.
  • Construction of rain gardens and tree pits lighting and signal pole foundations.
  • Construction raised speed tables.
  • Construction of kerb buildouts.
  • Construction raised cycleway separators.
  • Road and footpath reconstruction and re installation of bluestone kerbs.
  • Construction and curing concrete slabs to lay paving stones.
  • Installation of new bins, bike racks and seating.
  • Installing new streetlight foundations.
  • Construction of new cycleway.
  • New or reconfigured traffic lights.
  • Final road resurfacing works.
  • Line marking and sign installation.

How we got here


The project is funded by Auckland Council, with AT and central government making up the balance. The budget reflects a design-led project, constructed using high quality materials, appropriate to Karangahape Road’s city centre location and unique character.

The project represents several years of planning and public consultation. They align with the Auckland Council’s Masterplan which outlines a 20-year vision to deliver a high-quality urban environment alongside a well-integrated public transport system.

The Karangahape Road Enhancement Project has evolved through extensive public engagement and planning.


  • 2012 - Auckland Council City Centre Master Plan.
  • 2016 - Project engagement: public walking and cycling surveys, Myers Park Medley, public consultation.
  • 2017 - Karangahape Design Reference Group with residents and property and business owners to help refine and develop urban design elements to retain the unique street character, parking plan and construction staging.
  • 2018 - Parking consultation.
    • Business and pedestrian surveys.
    • Change to paid on-street parking at the west end of the precinct.
    • Footpath water blasting to improve slip resistance.
    • Project pop-up information hub.
  • 2019 - Construction starts July.
  • 2021 - Mid-May 2021 completion expected.

Find out more and download the business survey report (1.7MB)

Read the full Karangahape Road feedback report (PDF 9MB)

To find out more and download the parking plan report (PDF 1.2MB, pages 34)

For more information

Contact Auckland Transport