About the project

The Whāngārei Improvements comprise a suite of 6 projects along a 6km corridor of State Highway 1 through the city. It includes widening the highway to allow 4 lanes of traffic, intersection upgrades and roading improvements.

The improvements will remove bottlenecks and associated congestion, creating better traffic flow, reducing accidents and enhancing safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

Engagement and communication with the local community and stakeholders is an important part of these projects. The success of the projects completed to date can be largely attributed to the support of the community in Whāngārei, in particular the project neighbours and road users.

The projects support the urban growth strategy for Whāngārei district and have created jobs locally. The majority of suppliers and subcontractors are regionally based and the work has provided a boost to the community.

The first of the Whāngārei Improvements projects began in 2010. All projects are now either in design/planning, construction or complete. 

There are 6 projects in total:

Kamo Bypass stage 2 (complete)

Kamo Bypass stage 2 was completed in 2012 and provides a high quality route north as an alternative to Kamo Road. The project helped to move traffic away from the main city centre and residential areas surrounding Kamo Road. It also made travelling around the area easier for local residents, businesses and visitors.

It provides a connection to the existing stage 1 bypass east of the railway and extends through the western side of Ōtāngarei, to a southerly connection at Kamo Road/ Western Hills Drive.

As part of the project the Kamo Road and Western Hills Drive intersection has also been upgraded with additional widened lanes and wider shoulder facilities.

The council's new Spedding Road link also constructed has provided a connection between Tikipunga and Kamo. It also provides an alternative north/south connection for the Tikipunga and Glenbervie suburbs and diverts traffic from the Mill/Nixon/Hatea route into Kamo.


Percy Street to Kensington Avenue safety improvements (complete) 

A flush median and an additional lane in each direction has been constructed between Kensington Road and Kamo Road. This has provided increased safety benefits separating vehicles and pedestrian providing a safer state highway within an urban environment.


Kensington to Manse Street safety improvements (construction to start January 2016)

Improvements to the Kensington Avenue intersection and the state highway south to Manse Street aim to reduce traffic queuing at peak times and improve safety for road users and pedestrians accessing Kensington Park.

The proposed roundabout at the intersection of Kensington Avenue will have a dedicated northbound lane to allow vehicles travelling north to continue without stopping, reducing noise as they slow down due to present conditions. This will ensure traffic flows effectively and minimises potential road noise by heavy transport vehicles stopping on the hill approaching the intersection.

A raised solid central median installed along the state highway between Kensington Avenue and Manse Street will address the existing high crash rate, which has resulted in a number of fatalities.

The raised median between Kensington Avenue and Russell Road will be soft planted restricting traffic from Kohatu Road to left turn only. The raised median between Russell Road and Manse Street will be a solid concrete barrier restricting traffic at Manse Street to left turn access only. 


Selwyn to Fourth Avenue 4-laning

  • Stage 1, Selwyn Avenue short term safety/congestion relief (complete)
  • Stage 2, Selwyn Avenue to Central Avenue intersection upgrade and 4-laning (complete)

During peak periods congestion would build between Selwyn Avenue and Wilson Avenue. To mitigate this, the intersection at SH1/Central Avenue has been upgraded with extra lanes. The Selwyn Avenue intersection has also been upgraded in line with current state highway safety standards.

  • Stage 3, Selwyn Avenue full upgrade (complete)
  • Stage 4, Wilson Avenue to Fourth Avenue 4-laning (under construction, to be completed in December 2015)

The state highway will be widened to four lanes from the SH1/14 intersection to Central Avenue and a raised median installed from south of Fourth Avenue to Kauika Road. This will restrict right turn movements to and from the state highway.

Wilson Avenue will be closed off from the highway, and a new link road constructed from Wilson Avenue to Fifth Avenue to provide an alternative route to and from the state highway.

The Cheviot Street intersection will be modified as part of the SH14/Mauna Road intersection upgrade to accommodate the additional vehicles with a right turn bay constructed to assist right turning movement onto the state highway.


SH1/SH14 intersection improvements (complete)

Improvements at the intersection of SH1/SH14 is now complete.  The intersection has new traffic signals, extra lanes and with free left turn lanes on each approach to reduce congestion at peak times. It also has new raised median islands at each approach to improve safety for all road users.


Tarewa Road/SH1 intersection improvements and 4-laning (construction to start mid-2017)

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.

Intersection improvements at Tarewa Road include widening the state highway from Tarewa Road to the intersection of SH1/SH14. The intersection will be signalised to improve safety and to reduce peak time queuing on the state highway by traffic turning right into Tarewa Road.

A free left turn will be constructed for state highway traffic entering Tarewa Road and both painted and raised median barriers will improve safety for all users

The NZTA 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.