Submissions opened today (Wednesday, 29 January) on designations to protect the Southern Links roading network in and south of Hamilton.
Southern Links is a NZ Transport Agency initiative in partnership with the Hamilton City Council (HCC) which involves 21km of state highway, three new river crossings – including two over the Waikato River - and 11km of urban arterial network inside Hamilton's Peacocke growth area.
The Transport Agency and HCC are seeking to secure designations for the network. Notices of Requirements for the land and resource consents for the bridges were lodged by the Transport Agency and HCC in August.
The receiving councils - HCC, Waipa and Waikato districts for the roading network, and Waikato Regional Council for the bridge consents - publically notified the applications today, Wednesday, January 29 2014 which kick-starts the public submissions process.
Submissions close on 28 February with a hearing before independent commissioners expected in the middle of the year.
Transport Agency Highways Manager Kaye Clark says the long-term aim of the project is to develop an effective transport network of well-connected state highway and urban arterial routes linking State Highway 1 from Kahikatea Drive in Hamilton to the Waikato Expressway at Tamahere and State Highway 3 from Hamilton Airport to central and east Hamilton.
“It will provide better linkage and access across and in and out of Hamilton City and surrounding districts for all motorists. It supports and enables the local growth strategy by providing efficient movement of vehicles and freight around the Waikato region.”
"Those benefits include stimulating the economy, improving journeys by reducing travel times, improving road safety and reducing congestion as well as creating flow-on economic benefits and community well-being for greater Waikato communities."
Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker says Southern Links is a significant project and will provide enormous benefits for Hamilton and the Waikato economy and lifestyle and open up the Peacocke area.
“The public submissions process opening today is a further opportunity for the public and business community to have input into the proposal and what this roading project will mean for them.”
Mrs Clark says Southern Links is still at an early stage of development and the progression to construction stage could be 10-15 years away. “Getting the designations in place will protect the Southern Links network so it can be built when required in the future,’’ she says.
"Construction timing essentially will depend on the rate of development in southern Hamilton."
Information about this project is available online at www.nzta.govt.nz/southern-links(external link). How and where to make a submission and contacts for information are also on the website or people can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0508 STHNLINK (0508 7846 5465).
All documents relating to the notification are at www.waipadc.govt.nz/HamiltonSouthernLinks(external link).