Construction to start on Puhoi to Warkworth Motorway
Transport Minister Simon Bridges today welcomed a significant step towards completing a key section of the Government’s Puhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance.
The NZ Transport Agency has awarded a contract to the Northern Express Group which will finance, build, manage and maintain a new motorway between Puhoi and Warkworth as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) at a net present cost of $709.5 million.
Mr Bridges says construction on the new 18.5km motorway will get underway before the end of the year with the road planned to be open to traffic by 2022.
“The new motorway will extend Auckland’s Northern Motorway on State Highway 1 from the Johnstone’s Hill tunnels to just north of Warkworth.
Mr Bridges says improving the road is an important part of the Government’s commitment to supporting and increasing economic growth in Northland, and will provide a safer and more reliable link between Northland and the rest of the upper North Island.
“It will allow people to get to and from work more easily, and it will enable the efficient movement of freight to key export markets, both of which are vital in helping Northland’s economy grow.
“The new motorway is also critical to Auckland’s success. Warkworth is designated as a key Auckland growth area so the road will provide strong transport connections to support future development in the area,” Mr Bridges says.
The new Puhoi to Warkworth motorway will be New Zealand’s second State Highway to be delivered through a PPP, the first being the Transmission Gully motorway project in Wellington which is expected to open in 2020.
“The Government will continue to consider PPPs for other large scale and complex transport infrastructure projects which can potentially benefit from the innovation and value-for-money that can be achieved through this approach.
“Using private sector funding and innovation to build this new section of motorway means the construction will cost less than if it was paid for through conventional channels and the motorway will also be delivered more quickly,” Mr Bridges says.