Recent growth projections and transport trends for the Horowhenua region have prompted the NZ Transport Agency to undertake more investigations into the Ōtaki to north of Levin project and its planned transport improvements, before consulting with the community in early 2017.
“Taking the time to get more information will put us in a stronger position to have robust conversations with local communities and other key stakeholders. While the NZ Transport Agency had initially planned to go out for consultation this year, shifting the consultation to early next year will ensure there is well researched information to share.
“The opportunity to make transport improvements in the Horowhenua is important, so it is important to get it right – which means factoring in the region’s changing demographics and conditions for economic growth,” NZ Transport Agency Regional Director Central, Raewyn Bleakley says.
“It is important the plans allow for potential increases in transport demands and are integrated with Horowhenua District Council’s plans for the Levin Town Centre and associated growth.
“Horowhenua is set to benefit from extensive transport infrastructure being built from Wellington up to the north of Levin, offering safer and shorter journey times between locations. We need to take the time to make sure we have the right information to ensure all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, can stand the test of time and meet regional and national socio-economic goals,” says Ms Bleakley.
An expressway from Wellington to the north of Ōtaki is expected to be completed by 2021. The replacement of the Whirokino Trestle and Manawatū River Bridge, north of Levin are also expected to be complete by 2019, opening up this route to High Productivity Motor Vehicles.
“We’ll be talking to landowners, road users and other key stakeholders over the following months as we continue with our investigations,” Ms Bleakley says.