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Safety projects key features of Taranaki SH Plan

Wanganui Regional Office
Media Release

30 June 2004

Major safety projects key features of Taranaki SH Plan

Major improvements to State Highway 3 on the northern approach to New Plymouth are the key features of Transit New Zealand’s 10-Year State Highway Plan 2004/05-2013/14 for Taranaki, released today.

The $8.4 million Bell Block Bypass and $4.4 million Mangaone Hill Four-Laning projects are both planned for a construction start in 2004/05, Transit regional manager Errol Christiansen said.

“The Bell Block Bypass, which will provide a new route between Paraite Road and Egmont Road, leads into the Mangaone Hill Four Laning from the existing highway to the Waiwakaiho Bridge.”

Other works planned for 2004/05 included the investigation of safety improvements at the Lower Taumaha Curve and the Mangaorei Road intersection on SH3, with a construction start for both projects planned for 2005/06. Transit will investigate a realignment of Pilot Road South on SH3 north of Tongaporutu, with construction planned for 2006/07.

“Also scheduled for investigation in 2004/05 is the widening of the Tangahoe Bridge on SH3 south of Hawera. Construction is planned for 2006/07 and will result in a wider bridge deck and better approach curves from both directions, which are the main problems at this site.

Mr Christiansen said consultation played an important role in the development of the plan within the context of the new Land Transport Management Act (passed in November 2003). All large project proposals have been reviewed to ensure integrated solutions that fitted with Taranaki’s local authority plans and that the benefits of the plans were sustainable.

“Some of the projects outlined in the plan may be built faster and others added with additional funding we anticipate from a share of the regional distribution funding resulting from the Government’s December 2003 funding package, ‘Investing in Growth’ raised through an increase in petrol tax,” he said.

Mr Christiansen said Transit acknowledged that secure and efficient transport corridors, particularly to the north via the Awakino Gorge and south via Hawera, were a key regional transport issue for Taranaki.

“Schemes for improving the alignment of SH3 over Mount Messenger have been investigated, but based on these investigations, major improvements are hard to justify. However, there may be an opportunity to initiate this work through the regional distribution funding.”

As a result of the investigations into SH3 between Te Kuiti and New Plymouth, three passing lanes on SH3 north of Mount Messenger are planned for construction in the next three years. These passing lanes are all north of Taranaki and have been included in the 10-year plan for Waikato.

Mr Christiansen said the projects to improve SH3 north of New Plymouth had come into the state highway plan in large part because of the energy of the members of the SH3 Working Party, which has representatives from the two regional councils, two district councils, two Transit regional offices and the regional road transport association that have an interest in the route.

“Their efforts have seen these projects move higher up the priority list, demonstrating that good results can be achieved by working across regional boundaries and taking a broader look at managing this strategic route.”

Three further passing lanes have been included in the plan between Hawera and Waitotara.

Mr Christiansen said the state highway network in Taranaki had been improved significantly in recent years and was now generally of a high standard.

“A key milestone has been the completion of stock effluent disposal facilities on SH3 at Waverly and on SH3 north of Mt Messenger. These in-transit facilities are a reasonably low cost yet highly effective way of improving safety and providing environmental benefits.”

Mr Christiansen said Transit planned to spend $240 million on maintenance over the next 10 years to ensure Taranaki’s state highways remained of a high standard.

Major features of the Taranaki 10-year plan are:

• the Bell Block Bypass and Mangaone Hill Four-Laning projects, for a construction start in 2004/05
• small alignment improvements at:
• SH3: Mangaorei Road Intersection (New Plymouth)
• SH3: Devon Road/Mangaiti Road, Bell Block
• SH3: Pilot Road, north of Tongapurutu.

…ends/

For further information go to www.transit.govt.nz.
Detailed maps and timing of projects are listed by region

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