$658 million is forecast to be invested in Te Tai Tokerau (Northland’s) land transport system during the 2021–24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) period. This will help create a safe, resilient network to carry local dairy, forestry, farming and horticulture products to export markets.
A new roundabout at the entrance to Kawakawa was opened in May with a dawn celebration led by local iwi. The safety improvements at SH1/SH11 will benefit all road users – freight, cyclists, visitors to the Far North, and locals. Since mid-2021 when the roundabout began operating, there has been a noticeable reduction in traffic queues, risky driving and noise.
Overweight vehicles have been stopped from using SH10’s Waitangi River Bridge because of safety concerns. This followed a routine safety inspection, which also saw the speed limit on the bridge temporarily reduced to 50km/h. Continued investigations will determine what work is needed to re-open the bridge to overweight vehicles.
The new two-lane roundabout and a second bridge for southbound traffic will improve safety and access at the Loop Road and SH1 intersection. The two-lane roundabout was completed in late-2022. Stage 2 includes a southbound taper lane and bridge over the Otaika Stream to accommodate a safe merging distance from the newly completed roundabout has begun construction and is due to be complete in late-2024.
Work is progressing on the new two-lane bridge across the Kāeo River and roundabout to improve traffic flow and safety along SH10. Work is due to be completed in 2024.
The first, southern, stage of Ara Tūhono - Pūhoi to Warkworth was opened in May 2022. Waka Kotahi, NX2 and Fletcher/Acciona are working to complete the project as soon as possible, with the opening the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway next year. Based on current progress we anticipate that NX2 and their subcontractor Fletcher/Acciona will be in a position to open the road in the second quarter of 2023. The 18.5-kilometre motorway will provide a safer, more resilient and reliable route for motorists travelling between Auckland and Northland.
The safety improvements project on SH1 between Wellsford and Warkworth through the Dome Valley has completed four of its proposed stages. The fifth and final stage is currently being redesigned. Safety features along the highway now include side and median barriers, wider road shoulders and centre lines, improved sight lines, right turn bays, and new drainage and culverts.
The Whangārei to Port Marsden Highway four-laning project will not continue as part of the NZ Upgrade Programme. The government has asked Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail to implement a new option that focuses on safety improvements along the existing state highway, construction of a new rail line link to Northport, and rail improvements north of Whangārei. The corridor will be brought into a wider programme of works aimed at significantly reducing the number of crashes and saving lives between Whangārei and Wellsford.
The first stage of works is underway near Ruakākā. Works will begin on the rest of the project soon covering 83kms of SH1. Safety improvements will include side and median barriers, wider road shoulders and centre lines, right turn bays, turnaround facilities and a new roundabout near Waipū township.
This programme of work includes multiple slip repairs on SH1 Mangamuka Gorge as well a long-term resilience planning for the Far North roading network in response to an August-2022 weather event which forced SH1 Mangamuka Gorge to close due to severe slips. Construction of the slip repairs has begun and a programme business case for long-term resilience is progressing. More information on a timeline for re-opening SH1 Mangamuka Gorge will be shared in late-March 2023.
Maintenance activity undertaken during 2021/22:
Planned maintenance for 2022/23:
Everyone should get to where they’re going safely whether they’re walking, cycling, driving, motorcycling or using public transport. Speed is the single biggest factor that determines the severity of a crash outcome. Even when speed doesn’t cause a crash, it’s what will most likely determine whether anyone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed from that crash. As part of our efforts to save lives and prevent serious injuries, we are reviewing speed limits in the region.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency sought feedback on its speed management plan for state highways. Submissions closed on 12 December 2022. A decision report will be available mid-2023.