The main freight connection between Auckland and Northland is set to be strengthened with work starting on the Puhoi to Warkworth Project.
Earlier this month former Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Simon Bridges turned the first sod on the 18.5km project, the first section of the Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance.
“Extending the Northern Motorway between Pūhoi and Warkworth will enhance inter-regional and national economic growth and improve the reliability of the transport network between Auckland and Northland,” Mr Bridges says.
The current route was identified as a significant constraint on Northland’s economic development in the Upper North Island Freight Story. The new road will boost the economy through better journey time and reliability, with local communities such as Warkworth benefitting through a bypass for heavy trucks.
The $709.5 million project is being delivered through a Public Private Partnership, the second for a state highway in New Zealand.
Progress is also being made towards starting the second stage of the project, between Warkworth and Wellsford.
“Both of these projects will reduce the overall travel time between Auckland and Northland, bypassing town centres and avoiding State Highway 1’s current steep and winding route,” Mr Bridges says.
“It will also create a better freight connection for Northland to the Upper North Island freight “Golden Triangle” of Auckland, Waikato and Tauranga.”
The road is planned to be open to traffic in late 2021.