VIDEO: New Zealand's 'Highway to Hell' - Auckland's Te Atatu Road

24/02/2017
Paul Richards owns the local gym, Club Physical. He's lost 20 percent of his business and has even had to let go staff since the concrete was first ripped up in 2015.

He thinks the roadworks are taking so long due to a lack of roadworks staff, especially in 2016.

"Every member of the public that we spoke to had the same comment that there's no one working. Some days you'd drive down there you couldn't see any orange coats, no one working."

Auckland Transport declined to be interviewed, and instead sent Newshub a statement attributed to spokesman Mark Hannan, saying: "There is no delay to the project and that is very likely that it will be completed by mid-2017… several months ahead of schedule."

Mr Richards says the Te Atatu locals have had enough.

"Everyone complains, everyone, hundreds and hundreds complain. They all say it's taking too long, there's not enough work, why aren't they doing something, why didn't they plan it better?"

Workers are constantly shifting road cones and motorists are often not sure which lane they should be driving in. Newshub filmed the aftermath of a nose-to-tail accident in the short time that we were on site, and locals told us such accidents happen often.

Older residents with limited mobility are struggling to get around on the ripped up footpaths, while almost every property has a deep ditch, unfinished concrete pour or earth-moving vehicle on its front yard or driveway.

So how much longer will it have to be endured?

"We've got no idea," says Mr Richards. "We saw August mentioned at one stage, August this year, so that would mean two years' loss of income.

"There is a bit of confusion with the general public about why it's happening in the first place. Why should it take two years? Why couldn't it be done in six months and save everyone a lot of money?"

That's a question more than 35,000 frustrated motorists might also asking themselves - as they struggle to drive through it every day.