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Safety, main focus in Northland

Safety, main focus in Northland

With safety as its major focus, Transit New Zealand’s second 10-year plan, released today, gives slip repairs on State Highway 1 between Mangamuka and Rangiahua north of Ohaeawai the highest rating. Construction of the $3.3 million works, to stabilise the slips and improve the road surface, is programmed to start in 2005 and be completed two years later.

Developed within the context of the new Land Transport Management Act (LTMA), the Northland plan sets out Transit’s goal to improve the security, safety and efficiency of the region’s state highway network over the next decade.

Four more passing lanes are to be constructed in the next three years on SH1, to the north and south of Whangarei. These are in addition to the 13 passing lanes recently completed, currently under construction, or already approved for construction. The latest, at Flyger Road and Tauroa Stream, were officially opened by the MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hon Dover Samuels, on Friday 25 June.

The same day, Mr Samuels also turned the first sod marking the start of construction of the project with the highest safety improvement priority, the $4.9 million project to realign 1.2km of SH1 at Oakleigh and the construction of two bridges, including a railway bridge. One of the next most important safety priority projects, the upgrading of the SH10-Kerikeri Road intersection, is programmed for completion within the next two years.

Further underlining safety, the 10-year plan lists 15 safety improvements for construction in the next three years including small rural alignments, seal widening, guardrails and rural intersection upgrades.

Further north, safety improvements in the Kaingaroa Village on SH10 are scheduled for construction in 2005/06, in addition to the rural alignment on Kaingaroa Hill, which is currently under construction. Also included is the sealing of the remaining 20 kilometres of SH1F from Waitiki Landing to Cape Reinga, which becomes state highway on 1 July. A start has been made on the construction of the first 700-metre section and will be completed this summer.

In addition to these projects, the 10-year plan features a number of walking and cycling projects for construction in the next three years. These will provide new or upgraded pedestrian or cyclist facilities in Whangarei and Dargaville, as well as 14 other, mainly urban, areas in Northland.

Transit Regional Manager, Wayne McDonald says that Transit was able to take advantage of additional funding from Transfund during 2003/04 to accelerate a number of projects like the start made on the sealing of SH1F to Cape Reinga. “We are ready to do the same and build some projects faster, and even add more projects to the Northland priority list, depending on additional support from the Government’s regional funding distribution from the increased petrol tax in April 2005.”

© Scoop Media

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