Transport Minister Simon Bridges today announced the selected option for the Mount Messenger Bypass in Taranaki following a decision by the NZ Transport Agency Board last Friday.
An eastern alignment has been selected, which will bypass the existing Mount Messenger and provide a more direct and efficient route. This alignment was known as Option C during public consultation.
“In 2016 the Government announced that funding would be available to accelerate this project as part of the Accelerated Regional Roading Programme,” Mr Bridges says.
“State Highway 3 is the key link between Taranaki and the Waikato. Improving the safety and reliability of this route is a real priority for the Government. The new route will contribute to the ongoing economic growth of Taranaki.
“After over a year of extensive assessment and consultation, it’s exciting to now be able to announce the selected option for the Mount Messenger bypass,” Mr Bridges says.
The eastern alignment option delivers safety, resilience and travel time benefits whilst avoiding geologically unstable areas. It is also the preferred option of both the road transport sector and the Department of Conservation.
“This project will provide a host of wider economic benefits, including additional local employment opportunities, the development of region’s tourism sector and a much-needed reliable freight and lifeline route connecting Taranaki and the Waikato,” Mr Bridges says.
“Taranaki has the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita in New Zealand. This new and improved route will help increase productivity in the region and provide a safer, more resilient connection to the Waikato.
“The new route will ensure Taranaki’s goods have greater and more reliable access to domestic and world markets as well as providing better access to tourist visiting the region,” Mr Bridges says.
The project is estimated to cost $200 million and will be funded through the Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Programme and National Land Transport Fund.
The project is expected to be complete by 2021.