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Northland safety and tourist projects

Early go-ahead possible for major Northland safety and tourist projects

Transit New Zealand hopes to advance a major state highway safety project – realigning the highway at Katetoke-Oakleigh south of Whangarei.

“With several other Transit New Zealand projects being slower to start, this project and the sealing of the road to Cape Reinga have been recommended for an advanced start,” said Transit regional manager Wayne McDonald.

The $3.5 million safety project, given top priority by the Whangarei District Council and the Northland Regional Land Transport Committee, involves upgrading the Mangapai Road-Oakleigh Wharf Road and SH1 intersection to better accommodate the increased traffic created, in the main, by logging trucks exiting onto the highway.

Transit regional manager, Wayne McDonald, says that except for minor modifications, the project is virtually ready for construction. Funds will be sought from Transfund New Zealand to start this project.

“Part of the project involves constructing a new bridge on an improved alignment over the Katetoke Stream, as well as a further new bridge over the Tranz Rail railway track. Tranz Rail has approved the design, with only the Deed of Grant still to be obtained,” he says.

Another significant project that it is hoped will be brought forward is the sealing of the final 20 kilometres of SH1F from Waitiki Landing to Cape Reinga at a cost of $5M. This project is expected to have a major positive impact on tourism to Northland.

As well, the Long Hill passing lane south of Kawakawa, which was originally planned for the 2004/05 financial year, will start this year.

The $1.6M Waipapakauri Realignment of SH1F will also start early once the documentation and consent issues are resolved.

This is in addition to the $1.1 M recently announced for additional safety measures, including the removal of roadside hazards, guardrail retrofitting, seal and shoulder widening, right turn bays, sight distance improvements and culvert and drain protection. Mr McDonald says that while approval of the funds has still to be received from Transfund, all plans are ready to move on the projects

In all, $14.5M additional funding has been made available this year for Northland state highway projects.

A further $120,000 will be allocated to Northland for the investigation and design of four projects. This may mean they are ready to start earlier in subsequent years than would otherwise have been possible.

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