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SH3 Manawatū Gorge replacement welcomed


Hon Iain Lees-Galloway

MP for Palmerston North


16 March 2018

SH3 Manawatū Gorge replacement welcomed

MP for Palmerston North Iain Lees-Galloway says the city and the Manawau region welcomes the selection of a preferred route to replace SH3 through the Manawatū Gorge as an important step toward restoring and improving transport and freight connectivity in the lower North Island.

The new road will run from near the western entry of the closed SH3 gorge route, cross the Ruahine Ranges north of the gorge, before emerging at Woodville.

“A safe, modern and reliable link between the Manawatū, Tararua District, Hawke’s Bay and northern Wairarapa is important for employment growth and the economic well-being of these communities,” says Mr Lees-Galloway.

“Local residents, businesses and organisations have all expressed their enthusiasm, and it’s great that we now have a decision to plan for.

“The identification of the preferred route brings us significantly closer to a long-term solution that supports strong regional economic growth and improves the safety of such an important transport link.

“I welcome the Transport Agency’s commitment to advancing investigations for a Regional Freight Ring Road, and support the view of local businesses, local government and regional development organisations that this would be a critical component to package to unlocking regional economic development opportunities.”

The NZ Transport Agency will now begin the process of seeking consent for the project and progressing detailed business cases for a Regional Freight Ring Route, before construction begins in 2020.

“The closure of the Gorge in 2017 caused significant disruption and I’m pleased the Transport Minister and all of the stakeholders have worked so constructively toward such an important a long-term solution.

“This has been an excellent example of the NZ Transport Agency working closely with local councils and regional authorities, with the outcome being a decision that best meets the needs of their communities, businesses, road-users and residents,” says Mr Lees-Galloway.

ends

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