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Causeway Upgrade Project begins

24 May 2013

Media Statement

Causeway Upgrade Project begins

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says the formal start of construction today of the NZ Transport Agency’s Causeway Upgrade Project on Auckland’s Northwestern Motorway marks a significant milestone in completing the Western Ring Route Road of National Significance (RoNS).

The project is a critical part of the RoNS and the Government’s strategy to improve transport connections for both Auckland and neighbouring regions to the north and south of the city.

“This is part of the Government’s significant investment in infrastructure in Northland, Auckland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population and economy in the upper North Island,” Mr Brownlee says.

“The 4.8km Causeway Upgrade, together with the adjacent Waterview Connection – New Zealand’s biggest roading project to link the Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways – are critical to providing another road transport choice to SH1 through central Auckland.

“The completion of these two related projects in about four years will mean that the Western Ring Route will be a 47 kilometre-long motorway alternative to SH1.

“The upper North Island transport corridor will be improved, and there will be easier access to Auckland International Airport, and to the city’s developing north west and south west.

“We are working hard to reduce congestion and improve efficiency for freight and people travelling between these areas. Businesses, commuters, freight and tourists will all benefit from a safer and more efficient route.”

Mr Brownlee says in recent years the Government has overseen the completion of several projects to improve Auckland’s motorway network:

· the Northern Gateway Toll Road;

· the duplicate motorway bridge over the Manukau Harbour;

· the new viaduct at Newmarket on SH1;

· the SH20/1 connection at Manukau;

· the new Hobsonville Motorway;

· the Mt Roskill connection on the Southwestern Motorway;

· and the Victoria Park Tunnel – the first of its RoNS projects to be completed.

The Government is also helping fund the development of key arterial roading projects and the electrification of the city’s rail network.

“The Government recognises Auckland’s importance to the New Zealand economy,” Mr Brownlee says.

“A total of $3.4 billion will be invested in the city’s transport systems between 2012/15 through the National Land Transport Programme alone, including $1.6 billion for state highways, $968 million for local roads and $890 million for public transport.”

Prime Minister John Key officially turned the first spade of soil on the $220m Causeway Upgrade Project. He and Mr Brownlee were joined by officials from the NZTA and Auckland Council, the Causeway Alliance project team, Te Kawerau a Maki and Ngati Whatua iwi representatives and community leaders.

The project is being constructed for the NZTA by the Causeway Alliance – made up of the NZ Transport Agency, AECOM, Coffey, Fulton Hogan, Leighton Contractors and Sinclair Knight Merz. It is scheduled to be completed in late 2016.

The causeway will be raised and widened to help prevent flooding onto the motorway. Extra lanes will be added between Waterview and Te Atatu on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16).

ends

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