Transport Minister Simon Bridges says the indicative route announced today for a new motorway between Auckland and Northland is a significant step forward in improving travel between the two regions.
The Indicative Route shows the progress being made in developing the Government’s Warkworth to Wellsford section of the Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance.
“Improving this road is part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring transport infrastructure is in place to connect communities, get people to places of work and freight to key export markets, which are all vital in helping Northland’s economy grow,” Mr Bridges says.
“It will reduce the overall travel time between Warkworth and Te Hana by bypassing town centres, and avoiding the steep and winding Dome Valley.
“The straighter road alignment will also reduce the high crash rate through this area and reduce congestion and frustrations for motorists that often get stuck behind slow moving heavy vehicles.”
The Indicative Route is predicted to reduce the current number of deaths and serious injuries by 80 per cent.
The motorway which travels west of Warkworth and east of both Wellsford and Te Hana, connecting back to State Highway 1 north of Mangawhai Road will also provide ongoing benefits for local communities.
Once built, trucks and heavy vehicles will be diverted around townships, reducing around 90 per cent of through traffic and making them safer for local road users while reducing noise and pollution.
Three interchanges will connect the motorway with Warkworth, Wellsford at Wayby Valley Road and Te Hana at Mangawhai Road.
The Indicative Route will be shared with the public for their feedback which will help further refine the route. A series of public information days will be held starting on 18 February.
The Transport Agency will seek to protect the route for future construction by applying for consents by 2018.
More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/warkworth-wellsford.