The NZ Transport Agency has announced details of its indicative route for a new four-lane highway between Puhoi and Warkworth, and has begun consulting the community for feedback on the proposed route.
The proposed highway is part of the Puhoi to Wellsford road of national significance which will provide better access and route security on State Highway 1 between Auckland and Northland. The indicative Puhoi to Warkworth route is 18 kilometres long, running west of the existing State Highway 1 to just north of Warkworth near Kaipara Flats Road.
The NZTA's Regional Director for Auckland and Northland, Stephen Town, says while work can now be advanced between Puhoi and Warkworth, there are a number of geological challenges with unstable ground around the Dome Valley and Wellsford that require further investigation.
"This entire route remains our focus, and we want to develop it as quickly as possible," says Mr Town. "We are in a position to begin consultation from Puhoi to Warkworth, and more detailed investigations will be carried out before a solution is produced for the section of the proposed highway further north to Wellsford."
Mr Town said the NZTA was looking forward to hearing the community's views on the proposed route from Puhoi to Warkworth.
Consultation began yesterday (16 November) with NZTA staff hand-delivering information on the proposal to property owners impacted by the indicative route.
"We're committed to working with residents, property owners and others in the community to get their views on this proposal. It's important for the NZTA to get this feedback before confirming a final route," Mr Town said.
Mr Town said consultation on the indicative route would run until 28 January 2011 to give people ample time to consider the proposals and provide feedback.
The NZTA will hold four public information days to provide more details and answer questions directly:
The information days will include a 3D simulation of how the route would look in the current environment and a video outlining the process of developing the route. More information can be found at: www.nzta.govt.nz/puhoi-to-wellsford/(external link), along with background information on the proposed route and the consultation process.
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The government has identified seven essential state highways projects that are linked to New Zealand's economic prosperity. Called the roads of national significance, or RoNS for short, the NZTA is charged with substantially completing this programme of state highway improvements within the next 10 years. The RoNS programme represents one of New Zealand's biggest ever infrastructure investments.
The seven RoNS projects are based around New Zealand's five largest population centres. The focus is on moving people and freight between and within these centres more safely and efficiently. Other RoNS may be added in future but currently from north to south the seven projects are: Puhoi to Wellsford - SH1, Completing the Western Ring Route, Auckland - SH16 and SH20, Victoria Park Tunnel, Auckland - SH1, Waikato Expressway - SH1, Tauranga Eastern Link - SH2, Wellington Northern Corridor - SH1, Christchurch Motorways. More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/rons(external link).