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Minister welcomes re-opening of vital Northland link

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister of Transport

18 July 2014

Minister welcomes re-opening of vital Northland link

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee is congratulating the NZ Transport Agency and local Northland contractors for their relentless efforts to re-establish the vital State Highway 1 transport link severed by last week’s storms.

“The Transport Agency and their local contractors Fulton Hogan and Opus have been working around the clock with a singular focus on re-opening this lifeline for the region, and they are confident traffic will be moving around the storm-damaged section of SH1 near Kawakawa this evening,” Mr Brownlee says.

“This has been a massive effort, as these hard-working men and women have effectively built a new 100 metre section of highway from scratch in less than a week, and they’ve done it working in very challenging conditions.

“We know how important this road link is for the people of Northland, and we thank them for their patience and understanding in the face of incredibly difficult circumstances.”

The highway, which is the main road link to the far north, has been closed since last Saturday when a 70 metre-long section of the highway collapsed during a fierce storm at Maromaku.

Mr Brownlee says opening the slip detour is only the first step and the job of repairing the region’s road network is far from over.

“Northlanders can count on the Government’s support for repairs to the region’s roading network and to manage the immediate effects of the flooding as the clean-up from this severe storm continues.

“The Transport Agency is working closely with councils to assess the full extent of damage to ensure funding is available where and when it is most needed to re-establish transport links and support the region’s recovery.

“I want to express my heartfelt thanks and admiration for all those who’ve worked in such trying circumstances to deliver this incredible result,” Mr Brownlee says.

ENDS

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