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Transport Minister Simon Bridges says transport infrastructure continues to be a priority in Northland as the region marked the start of two new transport projects and celebrated the completion of more today.

The Minister turned the sod for Whāngārei’s newest Urban Cycleway, the $6.6m Kamo Shared Path, a 6km path that will connect areas north of the city with the Whāngārei CBD, Tai Tokerau Auckland University Campus and links to key recreational areas such as Kensington Park.

“When it’s finished the Kamo Shared Path is expected to be used by 600 people a day. It will also benefit the wider Whāngārei and Northland economy making it easier for tourists to get around and access tourist destinations,” Mr Bridges says.

The sod was also turned to mark the start of the two new two-lane bridges at Matakohe.

Hardies Bridge and Anderson Bridge will be replaced with two-way structures as well as realigning the approach roads to the bridges to remove tight bends.

“This stretch of highway on the Twin Coast Discovery Route is the main route to Dargaville and provides access for visitors and businesses, so improving its layout will help improve Northland’s connections with the rest of New Zealand and help stimulate economic growth,” says Mr Bridges.

The Minister also celebrated the completion of two state highway projects.

State Highway 1 between Kensington Avenue and Manse Street in Whangarei, has been upgraded to remove bottlenecks and improve safety for those travelling through the city.

“It’s one of a suite of six projects worth $49 million to manage growing traffic numbers travelling in and around Whangarei, as well as strengthening the connection to Marsden Point port and oil refinery,” Mr Bridges says.

The Brynderwyn Hills Safer System Project is also complete. The $18 million project involved widening the existing road, removing tight corners and installing a median wire rope barrier.

“The Brynderwyns project has seen a significant investment in road safety to address the high crash rate in the area. This demonstrates the Government’s investment to reduce the high road toll in New Zealand,” Mr Bridges says.

Warkworth’s growing population will benefit from a new road connection which will give them an alternative route between key housing and employment areas.

The first stage of the Warkworth Western Collector is complete. The $6.4 million project has extended Mansel Drive, including a new road over the Mahurangi River, building a new intersection where the new section of Mansel Drive meets Falls Road and realigning Falls Road.

“This will create a strong new connection between the northern end of Warkworth and give people a second route to get between residential areas and jobs in the industrial and commercial areas further west and south,” Mr Bridges says.

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