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Community feedback sought on SH1 upgrade

 

The NZ Transport Agency wants to hear community feedback on options for upgrading State Highway 1 between Whangarei and Te Hana to improve safety and journey reliability.

It’s part of a series of initiatives the Transport Agency is planning on behalf of the Government to improve the road alignment to reduce the number of deaths and serious crashes and provide more predictable journeys on the key route between Northland and Auckland.

“State Highway 1 is a vital link between Northland the rest of the country for freight, communities and tourism,” says the Transport Agency’s System Design Manager, Brett Gliddon.

Around two million tonnes of freight moves between Northland and Auckland each year and tourism in Northland accounts for $1 billion a year.

“Improving the region’s freight connections will be a game changer for the wider Northland economy.”

Te Hana is where the northern Auckland motorway network will start, once the Government’s Ara Tuhono Puhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance (RoNS) is finished.

Construction of the Puhoi to Warkworth section is due to be completed in 2021 and planning is currently underway on the Warkworth to Wellsford section.

Public feedback is now being sought on options between Whangarei and Port Marsden Highway (SH15).

Twenty-two kilometres of State Highway 1 will be upgraded to four lanes between Whangarei and Port Marsden Highway (SH15) with construction planned to start in 2019.

“Upgrading this section of highway to four lanes, creating a safer alignment and separating traffic will significantly reduce the high number of fatal and serious injury crashes in the area, many of which involve drivers crossing the centre line and colliding with oncoming traffic. It will also provide a more reliable and resilient freight connection to the port.”

During the planning phase many factors were considered, including engineering, geological, environmental, cultural, and social impacts on to identify the short list of options.

Options for consultation include upgrading the existing road to a four-lane expressway, upgrading the existing highway for southbound travel and building two new lanes to the west for northbound travel, or building a new four-lane expressway either to the west or east of the existing highway.

Two options for a future bypass of the Brynderwyn Hills are also being presented for public feedback. A bypass of the Brynderwyn Hills will provide greater resilience, improved safety and will reduce the cost of travel, particularly for heavy vehicles using this section of SH1.

Three public information days are being held this month to explain the shortlisted options, answer questions and give people an opportunity to provide their thoughts on the plans.

“We want communities involved from the very beginning to hear their views on the concepts we’ve created and how they think these will work in their communities. We will then use that feedback to help identify a preferred option

for the Whangarei to Port Marsden Highway four-laning project and the Brynderwyn Bypass,” says Brett Gliddon.

n For more information or to provide feedback go to nzta.govt.nz/whangarei-to-tehana.


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