The NZ Transport Agency confirms that work on the next stage of upgrades to State Highway 1 in Warkworth - construction of new intersections at Hill Street and Hudson Road - will be delayed at least 12 months.
The NZTA's State Highways Manager for Auckland, Tommy Parker, says he regrets the delay but reassures the community that the Transport Agency remains committed to completing all the SH1 improvements as soon as possible.
"The upgrades in Warkworth will still go ahead, but they will happen at a later date," he says.
Mr Parker says three key reasons behind the NZTA's decision: reduced revenue for all transport projects across New Zealand; rapid progress on other Auckland roading projects that need to be paid for earlier than anticipated; and increased costs for the Hill Street upgrade.
"We are committed to the project but the costs for improvements have increased 50 percent (to $15m) since they were originally estimated in 2006 and growth in Warkworth has slowed down coupled with the construction of larger projects in Auckland we need to delay this work" says Mr Parker. "We will still continue to negotiate with landowners around Hill Street over property purchases and property access rights so that we will be in a position for a quick start when we do go ahead with construction.
"Improvements have also been made to SH1: Hill Street with the installation of a cctv camera so that we are able to monitor peak hour flows from the Joint Traffic Management Centre in Auckland and adjust the light sequences as required to improve traffic flows through the intersection."
Mr Parker says the Hill Street decision does not affect work on the Puhoi to Wellsford road of national significance.
"I can assure people that Puhoi to Wellsford is still underway in the area, and has the changes at both the Hill Street and Hudson Road intersections incorporated in its planning. Funding for this RoNS project has not affected anything in Warkworth as it is still in a planning stage and most of NZTA's allocation is spent during construction" says Mr Parker.
The Warkworth Stage One project is an agreement between the NZTA (Transit) and Auckland Transport (Rodney District Council).
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Auckland Media Manager
NZ Transport Agency