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Minister of Transport Simon Bridges announced today that Budget 2017 will provide up to $812 million for reinstating State Highway 1 between Picton and Christchurch.

“The Government’s priority is to restore the pre-earthquake transport links to Kaikoura and its surrounding communities, and ensure these vital links are resilient for the long term,” Mr Bridges says.

“To make sure this work continues at pace, Budget 2017 will provide up to $812 million to reinstate State Highway 1 between Picton and Christchurch.

“The corridor is planned to reopen before the end of 2017 with funding to be provided over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years for work to continue after the route reopens.

“The Budget will also make funding available for KiwiRail to continue reinstatement work, while its insurance claim is finalised.

“The total cost of reinstating the road and rail corridors is now estimated to be between $1.1 and $1.33 billion. This is still a very large amount, and reflects there are a number of uncertainties when dealing with damage and destruction of this scale.

“More than $45 million of work has already been completed since last November’s earthquake, including clearing slips and obstructions, undertaking geotechnical assessments, and reinstating rail track.

“The New Zealand Transport Agency is considering additional improvements to improve the coastal corridor, which could see a further investment of up to $240 million from the National Land Transport Fund.

“The Government continues to stand with those affected by the November earthquake, and this funding demonstrates our commitment to getting these communities moving again,” Mr Bridges says.

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