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Project introduction

Six projects along 6km of SH1 through Whangārei will deliver benefits for road users. The development will provide a 4-lane highway between Selwyn Avenue and Tarewa Road and improve major intersections by removing bottlenecks and congestion, and improving traffic flow and safety.

  • Estimated project dates

    Jan 2010–Apr 2019
  • Estimated project cost

    $47 million to $49 million
  • Project type

    Road improvements
  • Project status



The NZ Transport Agency, in partnership with the Whangārei District Council, is working to help manage growing traffic numbers in and around Whangārei. This particular stretch of SH1 is the primary strategic urban arterial in Whangārei, as well as part of the route to the Marsden Point port and oil refinery, and the improvements will improve safety and make travel easier for locals and visitors driving, walking and cycling in and around the city.


The projects that make up the Whāngārei Improvements will improve traffic flows in and around the city – reducing queues, bottlenecks and accidents – making travelling safer and smoother for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

The project works are also creating jobs locally, with the majority of suppliers and subcontractors being regionally based.

About the project

The suite of projects that comprise the Whangārei Improvements began in 2010. All the composite projects are now either in design, consenting, construction phase or complete.

  • There are 6 projects in total
    1 Kamo Bypass stage 2 Complete
    2 Percy Street to Kensington Avenue safety improvements Complete
    3 Kensington to Manse Street safety improvements Under consturction, to be completed in March 2017
    4 Selwyn to Fourth Avenue 4-laning  
    • Stage 1, Selwyn Avenue short term safety/congestion relief
    • Stage 2, Selwyn Avenue to Central Avenue intersection upgrade and 4-laning
    • Stage 3, Selwyn Avenue full upgrade
    • Stage 4, Wilson Avenue to Fourth Avenue 4-laning
    5 SH1/SH14 intersection improvements Complete
    6 Tarewa Road/SH1 intersection improvements and 4-laning Consenting; construction started late 2017

Further project information

  • Kensington to Manse Street safety improvements

    Construction on this project is scheduled to begin in early 2016, and should be complete by the end of 2016. Currently this project is in the process of obtaining the necessary consents.

    As with other projects along this stretch of road, the new pavement will go down in two stages, with traffic being moved to the new road to allow the other side to be constructed. This also allows the contractor to underground power services while widening the road.

    The works will also bring wider footpaths for pedestrians, while landscaping works will enhance the aesthetics of the highway.

    For safety reasons, a median barrier will be built to prevent traffic turning into Manse Street. The tight turn in the highway at this point has resulted in traffic crossing the centreline and there has been a number of fatal accidents as a consequence. The barrier will remove this danger. Traffic wanting to turn into Manse will have to continue to Kensington Avenue intersection – a new roundabout is being constructed there to facilitate the extra traffic.

    Temporary traffic changes at Kensington Avenue’

    Download larger map. [PDF, 396 KB]

  • Tarewa Road Intersection project

    The detail design is complete for this project and public consultation has been undertaken with feedback from the public incorporated where possible.

    Currently, owners of the 48 properties directly impacted by the road widening are being consulted on a one-by-one basis. The NZ Transport Agency is also liaising with service providers with the view to having the power services undergrounded as part of the construction work.

    As with other projects in the Whāngārei Improvements, SH1 is being widened to 4 lanes and the existing two-lane Otaika Bridge will be replaced with a 4-lane bridge. The new bridge will be higher to accommodate modelled floodwater levels.

    Traffic lights will be installed at the intersection with Tarewa Road and Otaika Road/SH1. This will improve traffic flows at this intersection, reducing queues during peak hours. Due to safety reasons and to improve the efficiency of the intersection, there will be no right turn out of Tarewa Road (currently 90% of traffic turns left). The signalised intersection will also be safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

    The Transport Agency is also working with the Whāngārei District Council to improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists as part of the council’s walking and cycling strategy. Consequently, there will be new road crossings and a new bridge underpass.