The NZ Transport Agency Board has approved funding to complete the investigation of the SH3 Vickers to City project, which will reduce congestion and improve safety between Bell Block and New Plymouth City.
NZTA Central Regional Director Jenny Chetwynd says the funding approval will enable the NZTA to complete designations that will protect the project’s footprint from future development in the area.
"This is an important step towards completing a project that will ultimately provide congestion relief for motorists travelling between Bell Block and across Waiwhakaiho Bridge to and from the city centre.
“New Plymouth is a growing city and the economic hub of Taranaki, and the NZTA is aware of the need to accommodate increasing traffic flows at the Waiwhakohai Bridge bottleneck.
“The Vickers to City project will provide a comprehensive, long-term solution that will not only address delays at the bridge but will also provide greater capacity and improve safety over the entire three kilometre journey between Vickers Road and the city centre.”
Ms Chetwynd said investigation of the project would enable the NZTA to secure the designation and protect the footprint for a project that, once completed, will build on the capacity and safety benefits of the $20m SH3 Bell Block Bypass, help foster economic growth in this region and make the journey across Waiwhakohai Bridge and beyond easier and safer.
“The investigation phase will also enable the NZTA to establish how work on the project will be programmed, and to explore how the project can best integrate the needs of all road users and the wider community.”
Ms Chetwynd says the NZTA expects to begin work on the investigations in the next two to three months once a preferred tenderer is selected.