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$54.5 Million More Roading Projects Approved



Just one month after announcing its 1999/2000 National Roading Programme (NRP) totalling $930 million, Transfund New Zealand has given funding approval to a number of significant State highway projects that have since met the agency's investment criteria.

The projects, totalling $54.45 million, were approved at Transfund's NRP review meetings during July. This is in line with its policy of approving projects on a rolling basis as and when they have been fully developed and meet the funding criteria. Benefit/cost ratios for the projects ranged from 12.7 down to 4.0 -- the minimum BCR level to qualify for funding.

The biggest project to be approved was Tauranga's Route J, a $46 million 4-lane expressway that will be built over four years. It will provide a bypass for the congested Waihi Road section of State Highway 2. Expenditure on this project during the coming year is expected to be $10 million.

Transfund also approved a number of major seal widening projects which will contribute to greater safety. In the Auckland region, $2.8 million will be spent widening the seal on approximately 2 km of the city-bound lane of the Upper Harbour Highway (SH1) south of Greville Road, in order to bring this section up to the standard of the Albany-Puhoi realignment (ALPURT) immediately to the north. Part of the Kumeu-Helensville section of SH16 will also be widened at a cost of $990,000.

At Owen River on SH6, north of Murchison, the seal will be widened along a 10 km section at a cost of $997,000. Two other SH6 projects to receive funding approval are the provision of a passing lane at Rai Saddle, between Blenheim and Nelson ($350,000) and the realignment of a 0.6 km section at Bulls Hole in the Collins Valley, between Rai Valley and Whangamoa.

Two projects to gain funding in the Wanganui region are the realignment of a 1 km section of SH4 near Owhango, south of Taumarunui, at a cost of $990,000, and realignment of a 1 km section of SH47 east of National Park, costing $1.06 million.

Transfund has also approved funding requests by Transit New Zealand to cover two investigations relating to SH1 north of Wellington. One will study the feasibility and cost of upgrading SH1 between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay. The other covers the final scheme assessment stage of the McKays Crossing overbridge proposal. The combined cost of these investigations is $411,000.

A large number of further new NRP projects are in the pipeline and Transfund will evaluate these for funding approval as soon as they are fully developed.



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