National to replace 10 single lane bridges in Northland
National Party Northland candidate Mark Osborne today announced National will commit to replacing 10 single lane bridges on Northland's Twin Coast Highway over the next six years.
“This is an excellent commitment for the North,” Mr Osborne says.
“During the candidate selection process, and since becoming the Northland candidate, I have campaigned that replacing these old single-lane bridges is the next step in the development of Northland's roading network. I am thrilled the National leadership team have endorsed the approach I am advocating.”
National Party Transport Spokesman Simon Bridges says replacement of the bridges is the logical next step from the development of the Puhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance.
“Puhoi to Wellsford will open up Northland for economic development and tourism. It's crucial we are ready in Northland for the influx of visitors and business the Puhoi to Wellsford highway will bring.”
The 10 Bridges Programme will cost between $32 million and $69 million, and replace 10 old single lane bridges on the State Highway network with modern safe two lane bridges. They are:
- Taipa Bridge on State highway 10
- Kaeo River Bridge on State highway 10
- Waihou River (Rangiahua) Bridge on State highway 1N
- Tirohanga Stream Bridge on State highway 11
- Taheke Bridge on State highway 12
- Waimamaku River (Hallahans) Bridge on State highway 12
- Waimamaku River (Lowes) Bridge on State highway 12
- Darby and Joan Kauri Bridge on State highway 12
- Matakohe River (Hardies) Bridge on State highway 12
- Andersons Bridge on State highway 12
Mr Osborne says one of the important benefits of the 10 Bridges Programme will be improved safety on Northland's highways.
“One night last winter, I came across a head-on smash on the Kaeo Bridge when I was driving north. Luckily no-one was seriously injured in that crash but there have been a number of serious crashes on the bridge over the years and it really is a ticking time-bomb,” Mr Osborne says.
“This is an issue I have campaigned on, am very passionate about and have discussed with a lot of people in Northland so I'm pleased to be able to make this announcement today with Mr Bridges.”
Mr Bridges says funding for the projects will primarily come from the National Land Transport Fund, which has seen more funds dedicated to Northland since National came to government.
“The National-led Government has invested over $750 million dollars in State highway and local roading projects across Northland over the last seven years, a massive 40 per cent more than the previous Government.
“And that doesn’t include Puhoi to Wellsford which is a $1.75 billion commitment. Today’s announcement shows National remains committed to improving roading in Northland, as well as the links to Northland, to ensure the continuing growth and prosperity of the region.”