Whangārei residents are invited to the first community information days for the Whangārei to Port Marsden Highway project. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will be hosting several public events later this month where people will be able to learn more about and give feedback on the project, which is part of the NZ Upgrade Programme.
The drop-in sessions, planned for venues in Mata and the Whangārei Town Basin in late February, will provide an opportunity for the public to see the emerging preferred corridor announced late last year, meet the project team and get an overview of what’s planned at this early stage in the process.
Waka Kotahi National Manager Infrastructure Delivery, Andrew Thackwray says that while the project is still in its very early stages of design, it’s important to keep the Northland community informed as it evolves.
“We’ve been in touch with property owners within the emerging preferred corridor and have met with many of them to discuss what this might mean for their property and to seek their feedback.
“We’d now like to share this work with the wider community and hear their thoughts on the current plans.”
The emerging preferred corridor includes upgrading the current state highway to four lanes (with some sections built on a new alignment to straighten out curves), with a shared walking and cycling path between Whangārei and Port Marsden Highway (SH15).
The next steps for the project include further technical and design work to assess where the new highway could be placed within the preferred corridor, as well as looking at where and how it could join with local roads.
“There’s a lot to consider as we need to make sure the corridor is wide enough to accommodate four lanes of traffic, a shared path and upgraded intersections. We also need to think about managing stormwater, earthworks, how we protect the environment and landscaping,” says Andrew Thackwray.
“Things like ecology, heritage values, social impacts, noise, and engineering will be looked at to confirm the preferred corridor.”
Confirmation of the preferred corridor and a draft plan for the road layout for the upgraded highway is expected around mid-late 2021, with a plan to lodge for consents in early 2022. Construction is due to begin late-2023/early-2024.
Meanwhile, further safety improvements – including widened centrelines and road shoulders, rumble strips and safety barriers – are also planned on the existing busy stretch of state highway. Work is planned to start in April and will take about 12 months to complete. There will be more information about this project at the community information days.
Members of the public are encouraged to drop into the community events anytime within the event opening hours:
Information will also be available at the Waka Kotahi site at Northland Field Days, 4-6 March.
All information at community events will be on the Waka Kotahi website.
Waka Kotahi is delivering the Whangārei to Port Marsden Highway project with funding from the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, which is investing $6.8 billion in transport to save lives, get our cities moving and boost productivity in the country’s growth areas. Waka Kotahi is delivering 20 projects that support a shift to greater transport choice with a balanced investment in public transport, new or upgraded roads, walking and cycling.
The programme will play a vital role in helping to stimulate the economy and support the country as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19. Five projects worth $2.4b are nearing construction and all 20 projects will be under construction within five years.
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